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by Tim Beissmann

The Holden Commodore was stolen more than any other car in Victoria last financial year, according to RACV Insurance claims data.

The data from the 2010/2011 financial year shows 198 claims were made by owners of stolen Commodores. The Ford Falcon was the next most popular car among thieves, with 107 insurance claims lodged with RACV over the 12-month period.

Other vehicles that drew plenty of attention in Victoria included the Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla and the Ford Laser.

RACV Insurance acting general manager, Bob McGuinness, said older cars could be easier targets for thieves, but insisted guarding against theft was a simple process.

“Older cars can be targeted because of their minimal security,” Mr McGuinness said. “However an older car can be fitted with an engine immobiliser for as little as $200, which is a simple way to deter thieves.”

“Car owners should also be vigilant and ensure that all valuables are hidden from view to reduce the chances of attracting would-be thieves.”

The data revealed that western Melbourne suburbs like Essendon, Footscray and St Albans had the highest risk of motor vehicle theft, with 13 per cent of the state’s total claims originating from this area.

Inner Melbourne (including the CBD, Richmond and St Kilda) and southeastern Melbourne (including Cranbourne, Narre Warren and Packenham) also recorded a high number of claims.

“Drivers should also be aware of the locations where cars are more likely to be stolen, such as railway stations, shopping centres and outside their homes,” Mr McGuinness said.

“When parking, drivers should take extra care to ensure that if possible, their car is left in a secure area, the car’s doors are locked and the windows are closed.”

Despite what many might think, car thieves are most active between 6am and midday, with 35 per cent of RACV Insurance claimants revealing they were struck between these times, compared with just 14 per cent between midnight and 6am.

“Our data shows that thieves are prepared to strike at any time, not just at night when vehicles are more likely to be left unattended for long periods of time,” Mr McGuinness said.




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