Crime Stoppers launches campaign to stop motor vehicle theft in the ACT

Motor vehicle theft has been on the increase locally for many months with latest statistics revealing over 1,100 cares were stolen in Canberra last year alone. That’s an average 21 cars every week – about 3 cars every single day. ACT Region Crime Stoppers hopes their new campaign will help to ensure the next car stolen won’t be yours.

Stolen vehicles can be involved in as many as 15 other crimes – which makes this a particularly troubling issue,” explained ACT Region Crime Stopper Chair, Oliver Forrester. “We want Canberrans to help keep our city safe by taking precautions which will make it more difficult for criminals to steal cars. We are asking the public to tell us what you might know about car thieves.”

“About 1 in 4 cars are stolen using keys, so this campaign urges you to lock your vehicle, even when you’re at home, and store your car keys in a safe and secure place. Parking in well-lit areas, closing the windows and removing valuables all help to keep your car safe from thieves,” Mr Forrester explained.

“We hope the new campaign will encourage people to share information with Crime Stoppers that can help police find and apprehend car thieves. We want the public to be on the lookout for unusual or unfamiliar cars coming and going; unfamiliar cars parked in a street for a number of days; cars that just seem out of place; people swapping cars or dropping other people off to collect cars.”

ACT Policing Acting Commander Matt Heather said police continue to work with Crime Stoppers to target offending such as motor vehicle theft.

“We find that these incidents are usually crimes of opportunity, so would encourage Canberrans to take simple steps to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim,” Acting Commander Heather said.

“Even when your car is locked, it’s not impossible to get in. However, offenders are less likely to break in if they can’t see anything worth stealing. So take the time to lock your doors, close the windows, and don’t leave valuables such as your wallet, handbag, phone, or tablet in sight – even loose change, can tempt a thief.

“Also, be mindful of where your keys are – thieves are now breaking into houses to find the car keys and then stealing the car.

“Outsmart the offender by always taking your car keys with you, and when at home leave them in a safe place. If you leave home without your car, don’t leave your car keys in plain sight in your house.”

Mr Forrester concluded, “If you know someone who’s planning to steal a car – or is driving a stolen vehicle – tell Crime Stoppers. You don’t have to say who you are – just tell us what you know!”