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2016/17 Theft Statistics

The NMVTRC's latest statistics from the CARS database been released and reveal a 4% increase in motor vehicle thefts during the 12 months ending 30 June 2017.


  • Australia recorded a total of 56,184 thefts during the 2016/17 financial year, which represents a 4% increase over the 2015/16 total of 53,882 thefts.
  • Over the last five years, Australia’s total vehicle thefts have increased 1% from the 2012/13 total of 55,550.
  • During 2016/17 there was an average of 154 motor vehicle thefts per day in Australia. This is up from a total of 152 per day in 2012/13.
  • With a recovery rate of 72% the 2016/17 total comprises 40,221short term thefts and 15,963 profit motivated thefts.
  • Australia’s yearly theft rate equates to 2.91 thefts per 1,000 registered vehicles or 2.30 per 1,000 population.
  • There has been a slight decline in the median age of stolen vehicles in Australia. In 2012/13 the median age of all stolen vehicles was 12 years. In 2016/17 the median age had decreased to 11 years.
  • A total of 8,056 motorcycles were stolen in 2016/17. This is a 3% decrease over the 2015/16 total of 8,306 thefts, and is 7% lower than the 2012/13 total.
  • Motorcycles recorded the lowest recovery rate with only 44% of thefts in 2016/17 recovered compared to 78% of passenger and light commercial vehicles and 51% of other vehicles.
  • There was a slight increase in thefts of vehicles aged 10-14 years from 19% in 2012/13 to 22% in 2016/17 and a reduction in theft of vehicles aged 20 - 24 years (12% in 2012/13, 8% in 2016/17).
  • Overall the most popular passenger and light commercial theft targets in 2016/17 were the Holden Commodore VE MY06-13 (982 thefts), Nissan Pulsar N15 MY95-00 (942 thefts), Toyota Hilux MY05-11 (669 thefts), Ford Falcon BA MY02-05 (601 thefts) and the Holden Commodore VT MY97-00 (599 thefts).
  • There has been a gradual increase in recent years in the proportion of motor vehicle thefts taken from residential locations (e.g. dwellings and residential shed/garages). In 2016/17 for example, 57% of all thefts occurred at a residential location compared to 55% in 2012/13


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