Motorcycle theft plummets in pandemic

Rates of motorcycle theft in Australia took a welcome 16.7% drop during the pandemic lockdown last year.

Thefts dropped from 9680 to 8059 in 2020 which was the biggest decrease in the two decades since the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council began collecting statistics.

This is largely due to the COVID lockdown and riders being unable to ride their bikes, so they were locked away in garages.

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The 2020 motorcycle theft trend reflects a drop in all motor vehicle thefts across the nation of 15%.

Profit-motivated theft by professionals where the bikes are usually not recovered dropped 12.1% from 4633 to 4072, which was the biggest decrease in any category of vehicles.

But it appears the lockdown had an even bigger impact on short-term theft for joy rides or to use vehicles for other crimes where bikes are later recovered with these thefts down 21% from 5047 to 3987.

The trend varied across the nation with the biggest drop in numbers in Western Australia.

Surprisingly, Victoria recorded the lowest drop in thefts despite the fact that it suffered the longest periods of lockdown.

2019 2020 % change
Thefts Thefts
ACT 126 93 -26.2% 
NSW 2,142 1,911 -10.8% 
NT 97 61 -37.1% 
QLD 2,010 1,693 -15.8% 
SA 824 696 -15.5% 
TAS 192 148 -22.9% 
VIC 2,122 1,915 -9.8% 
WA 2,167 1,542 -28.8% 
AUS 9,680 100.0 8,059 100.0 -16.7% 

Once again, South East Queensland was the hot-spot for thefts, which could be why insurance premiums are so high.

Motorcycle paramedics

Of the top 10 Local Government Areas where motorcycle thefts occurred, SEQ had the top two spots and four in the top 10.

State or Territory LGA 2019 2020 % change
QLD Brisbane (City) 526 511 -2.9% 
QLD Gold Coast (City) 283 229 -19.1% 
VIC Melbourne (City) 250 210 -16.0% 
QLD Moreton Bay (Regional Council) 184 144 -21.7% 
NSW Sydney (City) 149 132 -11.4% 
NSW Newcastle (City) 130 125 -3.8% 
QLD Logan (City) 200 121 -39.5% 
NSW Blacktown (City) 120 111 -7.5% 
VIC Moreland (City) 107 109 1.9% 
WA Cockburn (City) 171 103 -39.8% 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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