Victoria is Australia’s car theft capital

Australians tend to be a little parochial when it comes to their home state, proudly proclaiming the superiority of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA, or wherever else they call home. We even have a history of putting state slogans on our number plates.

But here’s one you’re unlikely to see adorning Victorian number plates: “Australia’s car theft capital”. Yes, Victoria has earned that unwanted title after an extraordinary 33% rise in car thefts in the year to June 2016. (The NT was even worse, but technically speaking, it’s not a state) In all, 18,000 cars were nicked in Victoria over that period. That figure is all the more astonishing in comparison to NSW, where vehicle theft in the same period fell by 13%.

So what’s going on in Victoria? Well according to a couple of recent reports in The Age, the driving force behind this spate of thefts is unlicensed car wreckers and scrap metal merchants buying cars for cash with no questions asked. That’s encouraging car thieves to carry out carjackings and aggravated burglaries, which are also on the rise in Victoria. While vehicle immobilisers have gone a long way to prevent vehicle theft it’s had the unfortunate effect of encouraging more brazen behaviour from car thieves.

One solution to the problem in Victoria is to crack down on unlicensed wreckers with tighter regulations and a ban on cash-for-scrap metal. This is happening in NSW, where wreckers are now forced to keep records and police can inspect their premises without a warrant and even close them down in the interim. That’s good news for NSW drivers, but not so good for Victorians, because the thieves are likely to move across the border if it doesn’t enact similar laws, according to Victorian Chamber of Commerce executive director Geoff Gwilym.

Immobilisers are forcing car thieves to break into homes to steal the keys. For most of them, that’s the only way to steal one. Unlocked doors or windows are the favoured means of entry, so make sure your home is secure and always keep the keys out of sight.

Vehicle theft is immensely disturbing at any time but thankfully modern technology can come to motorists’ rescue in the form of vehicle tracking devices. Fleetdynamics, for example, offers a range of tracking devices that enable you to know your vehicle’s whereabouts 24 hours a day through the Fleetdynamics portal accessible on your computer or mobile device. With the optional shutdown module you can even shutdown the vehicle’s ignition remotely, stopping it in its tracks.

If you want to know more about the many advantages of Fleetcare’s range of tracking devices contact them today on 1300 087 225.The good news is that with Fleetdynamics tracking technology in your vehicle car thieves are never going to get away with it, even in the distressing case of a carjacking. Wherever your car is stolen from at any time of the day or night, you’ll at least have the reassurance of knowing exactly where it is and being able to tell the police where they can find it.

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