LOCK UP: Car theft hot spots on the Coffs Coast
COFFS Harbour could be the car-theft capital of the North Coast with data showing its streets ahead of regional peers when it comes to crimes involving four-wheels.
For the last three years Coffs Harbour has seen more instances of car theft than any other coastal council from Hawks Nest in the Mid Coast LGA all the way up to Tweed on the Queensland border.
While the 211 cars stolen in the 2019/20 financial year was an overall decrease on the 218 the one previous, the last three years has seen a significant rise.
When the data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research is broken down using their 'hotpots' mapping tool, there are some clear trends.
Coffs Harbour and Park Beach stand well clear in the size and scale of theft, closely followed by Sawtell-Toormina and Woolgoolga.
Just over half of all car-thefts are committed at night.
The only areas not to rate a mention on the map are the small communities of Arrawarra, Safety Beach and Sandy Beach.
And despite the clear trends, the risks are still high for those living outside hot spots, as local solicitor Marius Eden recently discovered when his car was stolen from outside his home.
The Bruxner Park resident's house was broken into just days after he had possessions stolen from his unlocked car, before he suspects the same perpetrators came back and took the car on a third night.
Days later it was found torched in Bucca.
"I hope people can learn from my situation," he said.
"They didn't care, they just burned the car. They have no regard for anyone."
The experience had led to a complete rethink around home security and the native South African said it was sad to have to take such precautions.
"You have to make it as hard as possible, they look for easy targets," he said.
"Now I am back to living like I lived in South Africa and that is sad."
The LGA also has one of the highest instances of theft from a motor vehicle with 421 instances last financial year, down from 588 the year before.
Coffs Harbour and Park beach appear to make up the bulk of those, with the hotspots map indicating an even larger portion is covered by a high density.
NSW Police have repeatedly warned people to always lock up their cars, including closing windows, even if it is unattended only for short periods.
Removing valuables from view is also important as mobile phones, bags and money all offer an incentive to would-be criminals.