More riders must be taking measures to secure their bikes as motorcycle theft is on a downward trend, according to the latest edition figures form the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
Short-term motorcycle theft – usually joy rides – was up 249 in the March quarter to 1123, but down considerably over the previous 12 months by 346 to 3707. Profit-motivated theft was down over the quarter by 75 to 1166 and down for the year by 152 to 4609.
Western Australia and Queensland continue to be hot spots for thieves with both recording the largest increase in short-term theft. In Queensland, thefts almost doubled in the quarter to 212. The states are also the ones with the biggest increase in motorcycle sales.
At the same time, profit-motivated motorcycle thefts were down the most in WA where the police have been running a program to make riders more aware of securing their bike and scooter.
Theft council boss Ray Carroll says many bikes are now being stolen from people’s houses, sheds and driveways rather from public carparks. He says thieves are breaking into houses and stealing the keys to cars and bikes.
He says there are many things you can do to improve the security of your motorcycle, most of which are common sense, but require “owner vigilance”.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BIKE
Use the steering lock if your bike has one and/or get some sort of brake lock. Bikes can still be picked up, so consider chaining it to an immovable object.
Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
Don’t park your bike in railway or shopping centre carparks as these are notorious for theft.
Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera.
If parking in a garage, block the bike with a car and ensure the garage is locked.
When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.
Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.
Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories.
MOTORCYCLE THEFT FIGURES (MARCH 2014 QUARTER)
States ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Australia Short-term theft
Number of thefts 10 161 28 212 70 11 148 483 1123
Change from previous quarter 5 1 14 90 22 2 16 99 249
Rate per 1000 registrations* 0.77 0.77 3.91 1.10 1.25 0.53 0.77 3.83 1.37
Number of thefts in past year 33 634 111 635 238 61 496 1499 3707
Change from previous year -1 -80 8 -82 -54 16 -79 -74 -346
States ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Australia Long-term theft
Number of thefts 12 224 22 217 62 11 341 277 1166
Change from previous quarter -11 -32 13 -4 -5 2 7 -45 -75
Rate per 1000 registrations* 0.92 1.07 3.08 1.13 1.11 0.53 1.77 2.20 1.43
Number of thefts in past year 57 898 67 895 278 47 1235 1132 4609
Change from previous year 12 92 -13 -135 -100 10 17 -35 -152
(* Many off-road bikes are not registered)