Stop sneak theft

Stop car theft.jpg

Most of us rely on our cars – whether it is for work or uni, taking the kids to school, or for social activities. Having a car stolen is stressful, inconvenient, and costly, but it is often preventable. 

In Australia, 7 in 10 cars are stolen with their own keys, and 3 in 4 are stolen from the home or immediately outside the home.

Offenders sneak into homes through unlocked doors and windows. It’s called sneak theft, and you can stop it. There are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk:

POP keys out of sight.

LOCK all doors and windows and ensure everyone in the home is doing the same.

STOP sneak theft.

POP. LOCK. STOP from CarSafe on Vimeo.

About sneak theft

The Stop Sneak Theft initiative is a campaign from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council to tackle vehicle crime. The aim is to reduce the theft of vehicles through residential burglaries in order to access car keys. Most often vehicle keys are stolen by sneak theft - when the thief enters the house undetected and takes the car keys without the owner knowing.

The City of Swan is proudly taking part in the initiative to empower our community to safeguard car keys and secure their home.

From organised criminals who are looking to steal cars for profit-motivated purposes, to opportunists who are after temporary transport, there are a range of players and motivations involved in vehicle crime. Around three-quarters of cars are taken by opportunistic thieves looking for short term use of a vehicle for purposes such as joyriding, transport or the commission of another crime.

While historically, older vehicles have been targeted for their lack of security, now over half of vehicles stolen are newer vehicles fitted with sophisticated security that cannot be started without access to an original key. Increasingly, thieves are entering homes via unlocked doors or windows in order to get hold of a vehicle’s keys. In other cases the keys may have been carelessly left by the owner in the ignition in an unlocked car in the driveway or at a petrol station.

There are also still more than three million older vehicles on Australian roads that are vulnerable to basic attack using simple tools – such a coat hanger (to access the cabin) and a screwdriver (as a surrogate key). These older vehicles are particularly vulnerable, illustrated by the fact that while they make up just 23 per cent of the registered vehicle fleet, their share of total thefts is more than 40 per cent.

For more information on the initiative and other ways to reduce vehicle crime visit

Interested in more about some of the City's crime prevention initiatives? Find them on our crime prevention pages.