Thieves ‘window shopping’ for luxury cars on Coast
MAROOCHYDORE is the worst suburb in the Sunshine Coast for car thefts, with 61 cars stolen from the suburb in 2019.
There are 39 vehicle thefts per day in Queensland, according to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards said while there were more thefts in some suburbs than others, thieves don’t seem to be targeting any specific suburb on the Coast, but rather residents’ relaxed home and vehicle security causing the spike in areas.
“The crooks basically window shop, driving around in a stolen car until they see what they like, e.g. Audis, Mercedes, BMW etc but they don’t knock off 30-year-old Commodores or Corollas,” he said.
“They see the cars in the driveways, first check to see if they are locked or not as a bad habit is that the spare key is kept in a log book in the glovebox.
“Or they get the remote to open the garage door, keys, wallets will be on the bench, or just check house doors as a lot are never locked, or the owners don’t check before they go to bed.”
Nambour and Buderim claimed second and third for the highest amount of Coast car thefts in 2019, with 38 and 29 cars stolen.
In the past year, multiple Sunshine Coast car thieves have been jailed after being sentenced in court.
A father in a stolen car who led a wild 22km police chase across the Coast while high on ice and armed was jailed for more than three years.
A “heroin addict”, who stole a vehicle from Peregian Beach and then evaded police in Coolum Beach, was jailed for 15 months.
Earlier this month, three teenagers were charged with multiple offences after a wild chase from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast ended in a dramatic Bruce Highway arrest.
Last year, 33 per cent or 88 out of the 270 property offenders charged lived outside the Sunshine Coast Police District.
Sen-Sgt Edwards said after the Property Crime Task Force recently arrested a 25-year-old offender from Morayfield, a debrief with him provided some valuable insight into why the Coast has become such an easy target for theft.
After being questioned about why he was coming to the Coast with other offenders, he replied: “Everyone knows there is nothing to steal at Caboolture. The Coast is easy - doors left unlocked and heaps to steal.”
Sen-Sgt Edwards said the task force was implementing more focus on community safety and security and encouraged residents to not have such a relaxed approach when it came to their property.
“Target-hardening, education, raising awareness, developing good habits with security in the community is a continued focus for us,” he said.
“While we have had good results on arresting and charging offenders, we think we can achieve more better outcomes working with the community on these points.”
Top ten Sunshine Coast suburbs for car thefts in 2019:
1. Maroochydore: 61 stolen, with 46 per cent from residences.
2. Nambour: 38 stolen, with 58 per cent from residences.
3. Buderim: 29 stolen, with 59 per cent from residences.
4. Mooloolaba: 26 stolen, with 54 per cent from residences.
5. Currimundi: 22 stolen, with 77 per cent from residences.
6. Bli Bli: 20 stolen, with 70 per cent from residences.
7. Beerwah: 20 stolen, with 80 per cent from residences.
8. Coolum Beach: 19 stolen, with 42 per cent from residences.
9. Little Mountain: 17 stolen, with 71 per cent from residences.
10. Alexandra Headland: 16 stolen, with 50 per cent from residences.