Message from the Chief Commissioner

Crime Prevention & Community Safety

Prevention of motor vehicle theft

Release date: Thu 29 March 2007

Last updated: Mon 9 October 2017

Theft from car

Car thieves may be either opportunistic or professional.

In either case stolen vehicles may be used to commit further offences and be damaged, destroyed or never recovered.

Most car thefts occur in or around private residences, so it is important to take steps to protect your car even when it is parked in a garage, driveway or on a residential street.

There are two types of car thieves: the opportunist and the professional. What they have in common though is that they can steal a car in less than a minute.


Lock Up

  • Lock your car - always physically check it is locked, even when parking at home or just leaving your car for a moment
  • Close all windows - including sunroof 
  • Keep your car locked while driving

Secure Your Car

  • Park your car in a locked garage if possible
  • Park off the street in your driveway if you don't have a garage
  • Park in a well lit area to increase the risk that others will detect thieves
  • Install an engine immobiliser and car alarm if they are not already fitted
  • Consider using a steering wheel lock - particularly for older vehicles
  • Consider installing a bonnet lock
  • Install a GPS tracking device for rare and expensive cars.

Key Crime Prevention Tips

  • Lock all doors and close all windows
  • Park in a well-lit and secure area
  • Secure your keys and never leave them in your car
  • Install anti-theft devices and ensure they are working.

Key Security

In many cases of car theft, keys have been left in the ignition.

  • Never leave your keys in your car
  • Do not put your name and address on any keys - use a mobile phone number
  • Keep spare car keys in a secure place at home or at work.

If Your Car Has Been Stolen

  • Report the theft to police or call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency
  • Notify your insurance company immediately.

For more information read the applicable Preventing Theft of Motor Vehicles Fact Sheet (PDF).

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