Car Thefts Drop Thanks to Low Scrap Metal Prices

Who could have thought the financial crisis can also bring benefits? A recent Australian study made by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council showed that car thefts have decreased in the past year, since the scrap metal prices have been significantly lowered.

This time last year the metals market had increased demand for all kinds of scrap metal. The vehicle metal was fetching then about $300 per tonne, which led to a rise in the number of older vehicles stolen and not recovered.

By the end of last year, the scrap-metal prices had fallen to only $10 per tonne. Until the end of March, the current year, the number of passenger and light commercial vehicle thefts and non-recoveries dropped by 6.3 percent nationally compared with the previous quarter, reported.

The total value of the stolen vehicles fell $2 million to $123 million, while the total value of the passenger and light commercial (PLC) vehicles remained stable at $41 million for the March quarter. The biggest decrease was in vehicles manufactured in the 80s, with thefts falling by 26 percent and the proportion not recovered down 29 percent.

As for the individual states and territories results, a significant drop was recorded mostly in the New South Wales (down by 22 percent) and the Northern Territory (down by 35 percent). Tasmania, however, recorded a minor increase.

But thieves seem to have found a new target on the streets, this time on two wheels, since reports showed that motorbike theft increased by 2 percent in the March quarter. The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council said that it will continue monitoring the car thefts to further identify the connection between the scrap metal prices and the thefts.
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