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Motor thefts hit five-year low amid COVID

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Motor vehicle theft fell 7% across Australia to the lowest level since 2015 in the year to September, as borders were closed and movement was restricted due to COVID-linked lockdowns.

Some 52,638 thefts were recorded, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) says in its December Theft Watch report.

Theft volumes were down in all jurisdictions except Queensland, which

recorded a 3% increase for the period, which was a slower pace than previously rapidly escalating theft volumes.

Motorcycle thefts fell 11% while the categories of passenger/light commercial and heavy/other each decreased 6%.

By model, the Holden Commodore is the most popular passenger car among thieves, with 967 thefts recorded. That is followed by the Toyota Hilux MY05-11, Nissan Pulsar, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux MY12-15.

As social and travel restrictions normalise nationally, the NMVTRC urges Australians to heed its “Pop. Lock. Stop.” advice by popping keys out of sight and locking doors and windows.

In Australia, a car is stolen every 11 minutes – 70% with their own keys.

Half of all cars stolen are taken from the home, including driveways, carports and garages. Offenders often sneak into homes through unlocked doors and windows, and while the homeowner is present. Victims are on average left out of pocket $5000, the NMVTRC says.