Protecting Your Vehicle

Stealing from vehicles is a high volume crime in NSW. To check current data for NSW or your local area, please visit BOCSAR's crime tool.

    What items are most commonly stolen?

    Number plates, cash, wallets (including bank cards and licences) and GPS devices are the most commonly stolen items (BOCSAR data, provided September 2013).

    What makes a vehicle a target?

    Generally, a vehicle is a target because the items stolen are visible from the outside, such as a GPS unit left on the windscreen, or spare change left in plain sight.

    In NSW there are four ways to report a crime

    1. In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

    2. For non-urgent crime, phone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 who will take a police report and if necessary, arrange for police to attend.

    3. Should you wish to remain anonymous when report a crime, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. It's a free call and rewards of up to $1,000 are offered for information that leads to an arrest.

    4. You can visit your local Police Station to report a crime.

    Having personal items stolen from your car is inconvenient, distressing and can be expensive. You face the cost of replacing the stolen items as well as repairing damaged windows or locks. Follow the tips below to see how you can reduce your likelihood of having your valuables stolen from your vehicle.

    The most commonly stolen items and what you can
    do to avoid theft

    Rank​Item​Usual method
    of theft
    ​What can you do to prevent this?
    1​Registration plates​Removal with a screwdriver ​Install theft-resistant registration plate screws
    2​GPS devices​Smashed window​Remove portable GPS devices when you park your car; wipe off suction marks left on your windscreen and turn off Bluetooth devices so they are not discoverable.
    3​Cash, wallets and other valuables ​Smashed window, forced lock​Do not leave any valuables – no matter how small – in your car.
    ​4​Laptop computer, mobile phone, tablets and other small items ​Smashed window – used Bluetooth to detect presence​Turn off Bluetooth devices and do not leave valuables in your car. If necessary, leave them in your boot out of sight.

    Audit tools

    The following audits have been developed to help owners and managers of car parks and other parking areas lower the risk of steal from motor vehicle incidents occurring.

    These audits can be used to determine where risks in the area may be and to identify ways to reduce the risk.



    Tips for car security          

    Do not keep valuables and personal items in your car

    Do not leave anything that might be temping to thieves.

    Make sure all windows are closed and doors are locked, even when your car is parked at home.

    Keep all valuables out
    of sight

    If you choose to leave valuables in your car (e.g. phone, laptop, tablet, GPS), turn them off and lock them in the boot, otherwise they may still be discoverable via Bluetooth technology.

    Leave nothing in plain sight that may make your car interesting to a thief
    Ensure iPod cables, GPS mounts and similar items are kept out of sight. Never leave tools unsecured.

    If you park in a garage make sure you lock it.

    Park safe
    Try to avoid parking on quiet streets and make sure you park where it's well lit, visible to pedestrians and free of any objects that may obscure your car. Where possible, choose secure car parks or use those that are patrolled or supervised with controlled pedestrian access and few vehicle entry/exit points.

    Keep your keys safe
    Keep your keys secure and label them with your mobile phone number – do not put your address on them.

    Protect your data beware of identity theft
    Do not leave bank statements, bills or other personal documentation in your car. They can be used by a thief to steal your identity.                 

    Install a car alarm
    If you have one use it.                  


    Keep belongings out of sight

    Lock your doors and close your windows

    If you park in a garage make sure it is locked

    When parking on the street look for a space that is well lit and visible to pedestrians