Motorists urged to protect older vehicles

Tasmania Police is calling on owners of cars that are more than 10 years old to help deter thieves by installing security measures.

More than 300 cars were stolen in Tasmania during the past three months, with about 80% of them more than 10 years old. Only a few had security devices such as immobilisers or alarms.

Tasmania Police said thieves targeted older cars because they were easier to break into, easier to start without a key and often did not have security devices installed.

"While police are conducting regular operations to target these offences, we also need people to take steps to protect their cars," Sergeant Penny Reardon said.

"Car thieves are looking for a quick and easy target and so any sort of security device is often enough to put them off.

"Most cars are stolen as short-term transport and dumped within a couple of days of being stolen.

"We're dealing with opportunistic thieves and that's why we're asking people to take away the opportunity and install security measures."

About 70% of stolen cars are recovered by police. Many that are recovered have been damaged.