Last year 45,592 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles were stolen across Australia, with more than a quarter of those thefts occurring in Victoria alone.
According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, almost 13,000 cars were stolen in the Garden State during 2017 – an average of 40 a day. There was some good news for Victorian residents though, as the number of thefts has actually dropped, by 22.8 percent, compared to 2016 when 16,544 vehicles were taken.
The City of Hume in Melbourne's outer north experienced the greatest concentration of thefts in Victoria, with more than 800 vehicles pinched from within its borders, followed closely by Greater Geelong where 740 cars were swiped.
Hume and Geelong were by no means the worst local government areas (LGAs) for car theft, though. Three South East Queensland municipal areas made the top four including Brisbane CBD, Gold Coast, and Logan City, which accounted for 2118, 1375 and 906 thefts respectively.
The Australian Capital Territory had, surprisingly, the third-highest LGA theft rate, with 1170 cars taken; a 42.3 percent increase over 2016, and more stolen cars than in Tasmania (1111) and Northern Territory (837).
The Commodore was Australia’s most stolen car in 2017, with a total of 3280 taken including 908 VE models.
The Nissan Pulsar, which was the most prolifically stolen car in 2016, is still inexplicably popular with thieves. A total of 747 N15 models (1995-2000) were pilfered, trailed by 596 stolen Hiluxes built between 2005 and 2011, and 577 BA Falcons (2002-2005) that also proved popular among thieves.
Overall, thefts in 2017 fell by 7.4 percent, thanks largely to a 9.6 percent reduction in ‘short-term’ thefts where cars were pinched and later recovered. However, profit motivated thefts – where cars are stolen to be sold or broken up for parts – increased by 1.2 percent nationally, and 8.7 percent in NSW.
Three out of every five cars stolen happened to be valued at less than $5000 making up about 10 percent of the estimated $506 million worth of losses. One in five thefts were of cars valued from $10,000 to $20,000, while cars valued at more than $50,000 accounted for only one in every 50.
2017 vehicle thefts by state
- ACT - 1174 +42.3%
- NSW - 10,037 +1.6%
- NT - 837 -9.7%
- QLD - 9029 +10.5%
- SA - 2342 -14%
- TAS - 1111 +7.6%
- VIC - 12,768 -22.8%
- WA - 5294 -10.2%