Motor vehicle thefts surge


By Violet Li

Motor vehicle thefts have surged in Casey in the year leading up to March 2024, the latest Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) figures show.

The number of motor vehicle thefts has jumped from 896 to 1118, with an increase of 24.8 per cent.

Thefts from motor vehicles have soared by 44.4 per cent, recording a total of 3101.

Residential aggravated burglaries have remained flat over the past year.

Non-residential non-aggravated burglaries, on the other hand, have increased by 26.3 per cent from 407 to 514.

The number of drug trafficking has doubled from 105 to 212.

Overall, the total offences recorded in Casey have seen an increase of 10.7 per cent.

Cranbourne topped the chart with 3178 offences recorded, followed by Narre Warren with 3018, Berwick with 2715, Clyde North with 1709, and Hampton Park with 1699.

CSA chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said there had been a 17 per cent increase in theft offences recorded in the last 12 months across Victoria, driven by the highest ever numbers of steal from a retail store offence, as well as sizable increases in steal from a motor vehicle and burglary offences.

“This rapid increase in crimes involving the acquisition of property may be related to cost-of-living pressures,” she said.

“The increase in property-related crime was the largest contributor to the overall increase in crime in the last year.

“Alleged offenders being recorded for these crimes are drawn from all age groups, especially steal from a retail store, which is above pre-COVID levels.”

Child offences committed by the age group of 10 to 17 have seen a rise of 12.6 per cent, jumping from 1108 to 1248 while the number of youth offences by the group of 18 to 24 has slightly decreased by 1 per cent with 1245 recorded.

In Victoria, crimes committed by children aged 10 – 17 have risen to their highest levels since 2010 with 22,298 incidents recorded.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations Brett Curran said crimes committed by children under the age of 18 continued to rise at concerning levels, with this cohort significantly overrepresented in serious and violent crimes such as aggravated burglaries, car thefts, high-risk driving, and robberies.

“Victoria Police continues to invest significant resources towards curbing these offenders – arresting seven youth gang members, child burglars and underage car thieves each day over the past year as part of our two major youth-focused operations – Alliance and Trinity,” he said.

“There are a relatively small group of hardened child offenders causing significant community harm. This includes over 160 youth gang members who were arrested three or more times last year and another 38 who were arrested ten or more times as part of Operation Alliance.”