Advocating change

Call for community action amidst rising car thefts

Published | 20 September 2023

Crime Stoppers, in collaboration with Tasmania Police and RACT, is calling for community action in light of an increase in vehicle related crimes.

As part of Crime Stoppers Week, Tasmanians are encouraged to take action to protect one of their most used assets, the family or work vehicle.

Crime Stoppers Tasmania Chair David Daniels said the focus for this year's campaign is to highlight the impact of vehicle theft and damage on the individual, family, business and community.

“This collaborative effort aims to inform and engage the public in the fight against car-related crimes, emphasising the importance of vehicle security and simple habits to deter thieves,” Mr Daniels said.

Tasmania Police Inspector Jim Semmens said recent statistics reveal that around 43 per cent of vehicles stolen were parked in a driveway, carport, or garage at the time of the offence.

“While approximately 75 per cent of stolen vehicles are eventually returned to their owners, the emotional and financial toll on victims cannot be underestimated,” Inspector Semmens said.

Our Chief Executive Officer Mark Mugnaioni highlighted a concerning trend, a 50 per cent surge in car theft claims from RACT members in the past twelve months.

"This upward trend equates to over one additional claim per week and includes attempted theft, stolen parts, burnt-out cars, and stolen but recovered cars," Mr Mugnaioni said.

“In addition, our data revealed that 18 per cent of respondents regularly leave their cars unlocked when parked at home, making them easy targets for criminals.”

“To support the Crime Stoppers campaign, we've compiled a comprehensive checklist to safeguard your vehicle:

• Never leave a spare key on your wheel or under your car.

• Keep your car keys out of sight and away from doors and windows at home.

• Always lock your car when you exit.

• Close all your car windows securely.

• Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.

• Ensure your garage doors and windows are secure.

• Activate alarms and anti-theft devices.

• Consider using a steering wheel lock, especially for older cars.

• Think about investing in a vehicle tracking device to aid in locating your vehicle if stolen.

Along with Crime Stoppers, Tasmania Police, we urge the community to take these preventive measures to protect their vehicles, families, and the broader community from the impact of car theft and burglary.

To make a tip to Crime Stoppers Tasmania, please visit their website.