Thefts from cars are often due to valuables being left in plain sight or doors and windows being left unlocked. Thefts can occur at any time, so it is important not to present an easy opportunity to thieves. In order to steal, thieves will smash a car window or break locks, and the cost of repairs may exceed the value of the stolen items.

This page provides some tips on on how to prevent theft from motor vehicle. You can also download this information as a fact sheet and use it as a checklist.

  • Do not leave any valuables in your vehicles. Take them with you if possible. 
  • If you must leave valuables in your car – place them in your boot without being seen. 
  • Remove GPS units and wipe the suction mark off the window. 
  • Do not leave personal documents such as your registration or drivers licence in your car. These items contain your home address.
  • Do not leave house keys or garage door openers in your car – they may be stolen and used in home burglaries.
  • Lock your car – always physically check it is locked, even when parking at home or just leaving your car for a moment.
  • Close all windows – including sunroof.
  • Tradespeople – lock external tool boxes and equipment if they can’t be removed.
  • Park in a locked garage if possible.
  • Park off the street in your driveway if you don’t have a garage.
  • Park in a well-lit area – thieves do not want to be caught breaking into cars, so increase the risk that others will detect them.
  • Install a car alarm.

Commonly stolen items

  • money, wallets, credit cards
  • tools and powertools
  • computers, mobile phones, cameras, GPS and other electronic devices
  • handbags, jewellery, sunglasses

If a theft has occurred

If your valuables have been stolen from your car, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 and make a report.

If you require immediate police attendance, call police on Triple Zero (000).

If you have any information regarding a crime, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

More information

More information on protecting your car is available from the Victoria Police website (External link)

Community Crime Prevention
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication

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