If you own a Nissan Pulsar made between 1995 and 2000, I have some bad news for you.
You are more likely to have your car stolen in the nation’s capital than any other make or model of car.
According to new figures from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, Nissan Pulsars have been named the most popular stolen car for the second year in a row.
Over 40 Nissan Pulsars were stolen in 2018, nearly four times more than 2006 to 2013 Holden Commodore, which was the second most popular car stolen last year.
Mazda 3 models from 2004 to 2009, Mazda MX-5s made in 1989 to 1997 and Toyota Hiluxes also seemed popular among thieves.
The council’s chief executive Geoff Hughes believed the Nissan Pulsar was the top target for thieves because they are easier to break into without keys.
“These older vehicles do not have engine immobilisers as standard equipment, making them easy to steal without the keys,” he said.
“The age profile of thefts point to the Nissan Pulsar being a target for car thieves because they can be easily hotwired, making the process quick with less chance of detection.”
According to the council’s data, 1070 vehicles were stolen in the ACT last year, a slight decrease from the 1326 vehicles stolen in 2017. Of the 1070 vehicles stolen, 940 were cars, 107 were motorcycles, with the remaining 23 being other vehicles such as passenger vans.
According to ACT Policing figures, the last three months of 2018 was the busiest period for thieves, with 316 cars stolen from October to December. Belconnen and Tuggeranong also proved to be the most prominent areas of car thefts across the territory.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said proactive, intelligence-based policing has led to a marked reduction in the instances of car theft in Canberra and the surrounding region.
“ACT Policing continues to work collaboratively with relevant agencies as well as other individuals and bodies within the community to keep the ACT as safe as possible,” the spokesperson said.
“Through these community engagement activities and co-operative inter-agency consultations, ACT Policing develops appropriate strategies to address crime in our community.
“Car theft is a serious offence, and where there is sufficient evidence to identify an offender, appropriate action is taken. ACT Policing will continue to target individuals where intelligence and community information points to their involvement in these incidents.”
The spokesperson said that often with instances of car theft, the car has been illegally accessed using the vehicle’s keys and warned the public to keep their car keys in a secure location away from the car or garage.
Mr Hughes agreed and said the council’s data showed that around 70 per cent of late model vehicles were stolen with the keys.
“The thefts are almost always opportunistic, with offenders often entering premises through unlocked doors and windows and taking keys that are left in plain sight,” he said. “In the majority of cases, there is no confrontation with the car owner.”
Follow these ACT Policing tips to decrease the chances of theft or damage to your car:
- Ensure the doors and boot are locked and secure.
- Close all windows and the sunroof.
- When parking your car at night, use an area that is well lit.
- Do not leave valuables in your car like your wallet, phone or tablet, even if it’s locked.
- Spare keys or garage remotes should never be hidden in or on the car.
- If you have a garage, use it rather than leave your car in the driveway or on the street.
- Remove cheque books, credit cards, driver’s licence and registration papers from the glove box.
- Record serial numbers of valuables and details of your car such as make, model and engine number.
- Avoid placing your name, address and registration number on keys.
- Take your car keys with you, and when at home leave them in a secure place.
- If you go away without your car, don’t leave the keys in plain sight in your house.