The study revealed that 28 percent of car thefts during the past year occurred while the vehicle was parked in the home driveway; up five percent from 2012.
More than 15 percent of stolen vehicles were taken from the owner’s street, while 10 percent were stolen from the home garage.
Figures for car break-ins tell an almost identical story, with 30 percent occurring in the home driveway, 12 percent in the owner’s street and 10 percent in the home garage.
RACQ’s Mike Sopinski said as car security systems continually improve, thieves are finding it increasingly difficult to steal vehicles without access to keys or remotes.
Mr Sopinski added that video surveillance in public places and an increased willingness from people to report crimes saw thieves looking elsewhere for ‘soft targets’.
Despite the changing trend, criminals haven’t given up on public places just yet with 10 percent of thefts occurring from public parking lots, seven percent from shopping centre car parks and two percent from service stations.
“Car theft has risen in Queensland by 30 percent over the past two years to just under 10,000 thefts,” Executive Director of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC), Ray Carroll said.
“Seventy percent of those cars were fitted with an engine immobiliser and almost all of them would have been stolen via access to the owner’s keys.”
The study found 19 percent of Queenslanders surveyed had a car stolen in the past five years, while 20 percent had been the victim of a car break-in.
Eleven percent of those surveyed believe their own neighbourhood is not a safe place to park their car.
Mr Carroll said the growing trend towards key theft was now the single greatest threat to reducing instances of car theft, and drivers needed to exercise more care when securing car keys.
RACQ Insurance Tips To Avoid Car Theft Or Break-Ins
- If your vehicle does not have a factory-fitted engine immobiliser, you need to install an Australian Standards self-arming immobiliser
- Do not leave valuables in open sight in your car
- Always lock your vehicle and secure windows when away from your car, even when at home or in the garage
- Do not hide a spare key in your car, even if you think it is well concealed
- Park in well-lit, secure areas at night
- Never leave your engine running while you are away from your car
- Use off-street parking where available
- Secure car keys when the vehicle is parked at home or work.