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Downward trend of car theft figures stalls

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The decade-long downward trend in motor vehicle thefts has stalled, with all but one state experiencing an increase in the number of thefts of passenger and light commercial vehicles during the last quarter of 2011.

The exception was SA, where thefts were down by 8%, or 64 thefts.

A national total of 10,501 vehicles were stolen for short-term use, an increase of 1085 (12%) on the previous quarter.

“It appears that the continuing downward trend for the last decade has stalled,” National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council Executive Director Ray Carroll told

Through January to December 2011, 40,698 vehicles were stolen for short-term use – an increase over 2010 of 2%, or 454 vehicles.

Significantly, Queensland and WA moved up by 842 and 1229 thefts respectively.

“We need to take a close look at what’s behind those rises,” Mr Carroll said. “They are usually low-rate states.”

A total of 4248 vehicles were stolen for profit in the last quarter of 2011. This is a small increase of 45 thefts, or 1%. Nationally, total profit-motivated theft climbed slightly by 2% or 387 for the previous year.