CARS are being burnt out at an alarming rate in Ballarat, with statistics revealing the number of cars found burnt out had doubled in one year.
Crime Statistics Agency results reveal nearly one car every two weeks is found burnt out in the city, with Sebastopol, Wendouree and Ballarat central being the city’s hotspots.
This is an increase of nearly double, up from 14 in 2014.
Statistics also show that most burnt out cars have been linked to other crimes including theft and drug related offences.
The majority of cars found burnt out in the city are older model vehicles from the early 2000s worth less than $5000, a web-based application reveals.
2015 data from the the Crime Statistics Agency shows 421 cars were stolen in the 2014-15 financial year.
National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council data showed 31.1 per cent of stolen cars were 2000s models. Around 52.9 per cent of those stolen cars were valued at under $5000, and 53 per cent were stolen from a residence.
The council’s data also shows that the sheer number of cheaper vehicles stolen adds up.
The estimated total value of cars stolen in the city of Ballarat between October 1, 2014 and September, 30 2015 is more than $3 million.
While motor vehicle theft has decreased since the first recording in 2010-11, there has been a recent spike.
Crime Statistics Agency Data showed thefts in the Ballarat area totaled 421 in 2015, up from 288 in 2014.
While National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction data did not place Ballarat in the top 10 local government areas for car theft, it was only slightly behind Melbourne which was ranked tenth for the number of short term thefts.
Ballarat City Council mayor and head of the city’s road and safety committee Des Hudson said the rise in car thefts was not only a threat to property, it was also a direct threat to motorists safety.
A recent National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council study showed that most car thefts in Australia happen on the weekend.
They are more likely to occur between 4pm and 8pm on Friday and Sunday, 9pm and midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
According to the study 21 per cent of thefts happen between these times.
The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council’s executive Director, Ray Carroll said in Australia, around 70 percent of late model vehicles were stolen with the keys.
“Advances in vehicle security technology have meant that now the only way for opportunistic thieves to steal cars is by gaining access to the keys.”
Because of this vigilance is essential.