Legal Information on Car Theft Charges in NSW

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.


It was far from an ordinary night for Cairns man, Greg Hamill, who last week woke up to an odd noise coming from inside his Kanimbla home, drawing his attention to a pair of thieves who had found their way into his garage.

Somehow, the robbers had forced entry through the 29-year-old man’s front door, making their way into the garage and jumping into the ute.

Nevertheless, with an attempted car theft now playing out right before his eyes, for the former Australian Ninja Warrior contestant, foiling the plot would be as swift pulling off an epic feet-first dive into the tray of his ute, where he would cling on tightly for the next twenty minutes.

And in true Ninja Warrior extraordinaire style, the blockbuster stunt would go viral in the process.


Thieves Swerve Across Lanes in Ute Reaching Speeds of 200 Kilometres an Hour

At around 2am on 13 April 2020, Mr Hamill was forced to quickly leap into action and endure a twenty-minute ordeal in the back of his ute as he tried to stop two robbers from stealing his vehicle.

Speaking to 9News, the man uttered his initial disbelief of the situation and the unexpected car ride he found himself on as he clung to the back of his ute.

“I court see the lights underneath the garage door and IW as like holy s*** someone is stealing my car,” Mr. Hamill said.

“(They were) swerving across the lanes, shaking the car to try and get me out of the back.”

Despite performing a Ninja Warrior move to get himself into the tray of the car, he then had to withstand being tossed about as the car sped down the road at 200 km/hr.

But luckily for the man, the offenders eventually absconded, breaking out from the vehicle and taking off on foot.

Mr Hamill escaped with only a few bruises, while his ute remained in one piece.

Meanwhile, a 20-year-old man from Mount Louisa was put behind bars, accused of the crime.

His matter will be dealt with in the Cairns Magistrates Court in May.

Police are still searching for his alleged accomplice.


Mr Hamill Attributes Skills to Training for Australian Ninja Warrior TV Show

Reflecting upon the incident, Mr Hamill credited his hours of training towards competing in the original season of Australian Ninja Warrior for his remarkable stunt.

Indeed, as one would expect, the former Australian Ninja Warrior contestant’s feat soon reached viral status after CCTV footage of him leaping into the tray of his utility was captured and shared across news and social media outlets.

Mr Hamill also signalled he would not hesitate to do it all again.

“No regrets, I’d definitely have another go,” he told 9News.

Despite his optimism, Detective Acting Inspector Jason Smith advised others to avoid going to the same lengths.

“He’s been very nimble, he’s done the best he can to protect his property – but I can’t recommend people do the same actions in the future,” Detective Acting Inspector Smith said.

Nevertheless, as news of the extraordinary feat made headlines across social media, many online users expressed praise of the man’s skill.

In one post shared to Facebook, the sentiment was palpable.

“Fantastic bit risky though,” wrote one user.

“Great job,” commented another person, while another jested that they “would of [sic] done the same thing”.

For one man more concerned with the criminal justice system, however, the comments were slightly more roused.

“Well with the justice system as it is in this country… I’m surprised the thief wasn’t let go and ninja fined for being unrestrained in the back of a ute,” the man bantered.

Legal Information on Car Theft Charges in NSW

A motor vehicle theft offence involves stealing a car, truck, ship or anything considered to be a ‘motor vehicle’ defined by section 154E Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In NSW, stealing a motor vehicle or vessel is an offence and one that is taken very seriously.

As such, it carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and up to $11,000 fine according to section 154F Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

This offence is essentially based on the NSW offence of larceny.

Click here for a more thorough guide on the law and defences for stealing motor vehicles in NSW.

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