Vehicle theft

Most car thefts occur out of opportunity when a driver has not secured their vehicle. It is important to take steps to secure your vehicle in:  

  • residential streets 
  • your driveway 
  • your carport or garage. 

Council is working with organisations such as the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (also known as CarSafe), VicRoads and the Frankston Police to reduce car theft within the community.  

Reduce the risk of theft

There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of having your vehicle stolen including: 

  • Always lock your vehicle, regardless of whether you will only be away from your vehicle for a minute. 
  • Do not leave your keys in the ignition. 
  • Wind up your car windows. 
  • Protect your vehicle keys at all times. 
  • Do not leave any valuables in your vehicle, regardless of whether it is parked in a car park, in your street or on private property. 
  • If you have a steering wheel lock, use it every time you park. 
  • If you have an older vehicle, have an immobiliser installed. 

Engine immobilisers are effective in preventing vehicle theft and have become standard in vehicles manufactured from 2001.

Vehicles at risk

Commonly stolen vehicles include: 

Vehicle make Years 
Holden Commodore VE  2006 to 2013
Toyota Hilux
 2005 to 2011
Ford Ranger PX
2011 +
Toyota Hilux 2012 to 2015
Holden Commodore VY 2002 to 2004
Holden Captiva CG 2006 to 2019
Nissan Pulsar N15 1995 to 2000
Ford Falcon BA
2002 to 2005
Toyota Hilux 2015 +
 Nissan Navara D40 2005 to 2015

Buying a second hand vehicle

The following can reduce your risk of buying a second hand vehicle that is stolen, has been written-off, or is financially encumbered: 

  • Check the vehicle's identifiers for signs of tampering.
  • Cross-check the vehicle's identifiers with those on the registration certificate. 
  • Ask for evidence of the vehicle's history, including proof of purchase and receipts for major services.
  • Ask for identification from the seller to make sure they are the listed owner of the vehicle. 
  • Consider getting a professional inspection. 
  • Call the Vehicle Securities Register on 131 171 to check if the second hand vehicle you are buying has been registered as stolen, written-off or financially encumbered. 
  • Ask for a detailed receipt for the sale. 

Number plate theft

Number plate theft is increasing in Australia due to rising petrol prices. The number plates are used in the theft of petrol from service stations.

We recommend using anti-theft screws, which can be found at most major hardware stores. The screws secure your number plate as they are only able to be removed with a particular tool not available in shops. 

Theft of vehicle contents

There's an increase in theft of other items from vehicles, such as:  

  • car stereo equipment
  • wallets
  • mobile phones  
  • GPS units 
  • loose change and other valuables.  

Make sure to clear out your car every time you park and take your valuables with you. If you are unable to take your valuables with you keep  them out of sight, such as in the boot.