Motorcycle theft is declining slowly, but not in the west.
Across Australia, 2197 bikes were stolen in the March quarter, according to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
That’s 97 fewer than the previous quarter or a drop of 4.4% compared with car theft which is down about 10%.
This follows last year’s figures where 8036 bikes were stolen, up from 7916 in 2011.
Worst state is Western Australia where 849 bikes were taken in the first quarter of this year, or more than a third of all stolen bikes across the nation. It also represents about 4% of all bike registrations in WA, compared with the rate in the rest of Australia of about 1.5%.
Council executive director Ray Carroll says WA has always had a particular problem with motorcycle theft.
“Traditionally a lot of the WA motorcycle theft has consisted of off-roaders with a very significant proportion being 250cc or less,” he says.
“In more recent times there appears to have been rapid growth in the motor scooter market and a subsequent preference to steal motor scooters. Not sure why they have suddenly become such a popular item but they are certainly very easy to steal.”
He says his council is working with WA police on a motor scooter alarm project which involves supplying alarms to scooter owners in high-risk suburbs.
The best performing state was SA with a reduction of 89 thefts to 129 in the quarter.
Ray says SA theft rates of all vehicles are down and motorcycles have never really been a significant issue.
“They have particular problems with some well-know youth gangs in the western suburbs and when police are targeting them their theft rates tend to go down accordingly,” he says.
While profit-motivate bike theft fell across the nation by 82 (6%) to 1201, short-term theft was only down by 15 or 1% to 996.
Short term theft is defined as bikes stolen for opportunistic purposes not involving the vehicle’s value such as use in the commission of other crimes, joyriding or transport. All recovered vehicles regardless of their level of damage are classified as short-term theft.
In Australia, 45% of stolen bikes are taken from the owner’s house, 31% from the street, 9.5% from a business, 4.3% from a carpark and 2.34% from a shopping centre.
Thieves are largely targeting late-model bikes with those made between 200 and 2010 representing almost half of all bike thefts.
Most bikes are stolen late on a Friday night. The recovery rate of stolen bikes is just 40.3%.
Thefts by brand naturally follow the same pattern as sales with top-seller Honda leading at 458, followed by Yamaha (404), Suzuki (190), Kawasaki (186) and KTM (99).
Thefts by state (+ or – change in brackets) March quarter 2013
ACT 17 (-3)
NSW 334 (-50)
NT 41 (+4)
Qld 367 (-82)
SA 126 (-89)
Tas 21 (-5)
Vic 442 (+28)
WA 849 (+100)
Australia 2197 (-97)