Police statistics show that the number of Hyundai Excels stolen has increased rapidly in recent months.
Police statistics show that the number of Hyundai Excels stolen has increased rapidly in recent months. Contributed

Hyundai a hit among car thieves

IPSWICH car thieves have traditionally targeted the older model Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon due to their plentiful supply and relative lack of security.

While the traditionally popular car makes still top the list of the most stolen vehicles, it seems a relative newcomer could be challenging for the lead.

Police statistics show that the number of Hyundai Excels stolen has increased rapidly in recent months.

Ipswich District tactician Acting Senior Sergeant Liz Burns-Hutchison said thieves had likely been targeting Excels for the same reason that they target Fords and Holdens.

"Because of technology like keyless starting and the use of cards instead of keys, it makes it a lot harder to steal newer vehicles," Snr Sgt Burns-Hutchison said.

"Traditionally, every time a new car came out, thieves would find a way to steal it. These days that is getting harder to do."

As a result, home burglary is now becoming an increasingly more common way to gain access to vehicles.

About 12% of all stolen vehicle cases in Ipswich this year were the result of the keys being stolen during a burglary.

In many cases, thieves will use one or more of the victim's vehicles to load up stolen items from the house and drive away.

To counter the trend, police in Ipswich have promoted the Safe Keys project, which encourages residents not to leave their car keys in an easy-to-find location in the house - particularly if the house is unattended.

Snr Sgt Burns-Hutchison said a high percentage of car thefts could also be prevented by simply locking the car and taking the keys away.

"There are still about 20% of car theft cases where the vehicle has simply been left unlocked with the keys either on the seat or in the ignition," she said.



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