Facts and figures: motor vehicle theft

The Australian Institute of Criminology's Australian crime: facts and figures 2003 publication is a compilation of the most recently available national information on crime in Australia. The publication covers different types of recorded crime such as homicide, assault, robbery, unlawful entry with intent and motor vehicle theft. Motor vehicle theft is the taking of a motor vehicle unlawfully or without permission. There were 113,389 motor vehicles reported to police as stolen in 2002, with 884 vehicles stolen per 100,000 registered cars. This is a 19 per cent decrease from the number of motor vehicles stolen in 2001. Most motor vehicle thefts occurred on streets/footpaths (39 per cent), residential locations (23 per cent), car parks (12 per cent) or retail locations (11 per cent). Of the motor vehicles reported stolen in 2002, 87,011 were recovered, resulting in a national recovery rate of 80 per cent.

Number of motor vehicle theft offences by month, 1995 to 2002 [see attached PDF for graph]


  • Australian Institute of Criminology 2004. Australian crime: facts and figures 2003. Australian Institute of Criminology Canberra