Car thieves pick Holdens
IF YOU own an older model Holden Commodore watch out – it's the vehicle of choice for Ipswich car thieves.
All car owners are being reminded to keep their set of wheels secure with hundreds of vehicles reported stolen in the Ipswich area last year.
Police are taking a fresh approach to a campaign urging car owners to prevent vehicle theft with the relaunch of Operation Bounce Back in Ipswich Police District this month.
The joint initiative between the Ipswich District Crime Prevention Unit, Ipswich City Council and the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) is for good reason – statistics released by the NMVTRC show 441 vehicle thefts were reported in the Ipswich police district in 2009.
Goodna is still the hotspot for car theft, with 56 incidents reported, ahead of Redbank Plains with 48 incidents, Collingwood Park on 23 and Bellbird Park and Camira on 17 each.
Ipswich car thieves are still targeting the Holden Commodore, with 37 of the make, ranging in aged from 1989 to 1996, stolen last year.
Local mechanic Andrew Knudsen is all too aware of how vulnerable his beloved VL Commodore is to thieves.
The Riverview resident made his own engine immobiliser to protect his car.
"I know VLs are probably the easiest to steal – you can get in with almost any sort of key," he said.
Officer in charge of the Ipswich District Crime Prevention Unit, Sergeant Nadine Webster, said the focus of this year's operation was to remind people that having their car stolen would dent more than just the hip pocket.
"It's not just the cost – it's the inconvenience," Sgt Webster said.
Sgt Webster said a high percentage of vehicle thefts and instances of property being taken from vehicles could be prevented if people would simply remember to lock their doors.
"The operation will assist eligible residents by providing a number of free car engine immobilisers with installation," Sgt Webster said.
"People who have had a vehicle stolen, or owners of registered vehicles that are considered to be at high risk of being stolen in the Ipswich Police District may be eligible."
Operation Bounce Back will run throughout September and is funded by NMVTRC, which supports local government initiatives promoting theft reduction messages.
For more information contact Sgt Nadine Webster at Yamanto Police Complex on 3817 1351.
Police will appear at the following places for Operation Bounce Back:
Booval Fair Shopping Centre, September 15 from 9.30am-3.30pm
St Ives Shopping Centre, September 21 from 9.30am-3.30pm
Redbank Plains Shopping Centre, September 28 from 9.30am-3.30pm