Stealing a Car Penalties in NSW

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Sahar Adatia.


NSW Police are appealing for public assistance after a series of high-performance and luxury vehicles were stolen during recent aggravated break-ins at properties in Sydney’s north.

The vehicle thefts and break-ins took place between Monday 25th October 2021 and Tuesday 2nd November, during which a blue 2019 Volkswagen Golf Highline was stolen from Gladesville, and both a grey 2017 MINI Cooper and a white 2017 BMW 530i sedan were stolen from a home in Warrawee.

In addition to these, during this time, it is understood a group of people, who have not yet been identified, gained entry to an Abbotsford property inside which they stole a key for a 2014 grey Porsche Macan S, before stealing the vehicle from the road outside the house.

Meanwhile, a white 2014 Mercedes A200 was thieved from a garage at a Frenchs Forest home.

According to NSW Police, detectives are now under the impression that these cars – particularly the Porsche and Mercedes – may be being used to facilitate other serious crime and likely contain cloned number plates of an identical make and model.

They also believe the cars may be stored in what are considered odd areas for the vehicle types.

“We know these high-performance vehicles may be stored in areas or locations which are unusual for the type of car,” Criminal Groups Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Grant Taylor said, addressing the stolen vehicles.

“Therefore, we’re urging anyone who may’ve seen something out of the ordinary, to come forward and contact police.”


Strike Force Hawk Officers Operating to Suppress Use of Stolen Vehicles in Organised Crime Including Murder

As part of a scheme of proactive targeting of members and associates of criminal networks, Strike Force Hawk officers have been conducting inquiries into activities and crimes across Sydney, suspected to be connected to the preparation for public acts of violence.

In fact, under Strike Force Hawk, the suppression of the use of stolen vehicles in organised criminal activity has been a key strategy.

“We have previously seized more than 40 luxury stolen vehicles used in crimes across Greater Sydney – including vehicles used in an alleged murder attempt at North Sydney earlier this year and a double murder at Guildford last month,” Detective Superintendent Taylor said.

“A number of people are before the courts for their alleged roles in facilitating the use of these stolen vehicles, and investigators are now seeking further assistance from the public to locate additional cars stolen from Sydney’s north in recent times.”

Police are now also urging the community to exercise caution and take extra measures to secure their homes and vehicles to reduce the risk of becoming targets to thieves.

In response to the problem, NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Crime Prevention, Assistant Commissioner Gelina Talbot, labelled criminals as opportunists, advising they typically seek out homes with poor security.

“People should be observant of any suspicious activity around their homes and ensure to record a description of any people or vehicles that appear out of place,” Assistant Commissioner Talbot said.

“If you own a luxury car and park it in your driveway, you should take extra steps to ensure your home is adequately protected from any intruders.

“Store the vehicle’s keys in a secure location – away from any doors or windows.”

Assistant Commissioner Talbot also pressed for the community to secure their homes properly to avoid break-ins.

“Make sure your home is fitted with quality security doors, locks, alarms, lighting, and warning signs, and that all windows, doors and garage doors are secured,” she said.

Stealing a Car Penalties in NSW

In NSW, it is against the law to steal a motor vehicle, vessel or trailer.

In fact, the offence is taken very seriously by the courts and this is reflected by the prescribed maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

In NSW, the law on motor vehicle, vessel and trailer theft is outlined in section 154F of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

To be convicted of stealing a motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt, that:

  1. You took and carried (or drove) the motor vehicle, vessel or trailer belonging to someone else away;
  2. You did so with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the motor vehicle, vessel or trailer; and
  3. You did not have consent to do this.

A “motor vehicle” includes a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle.

A “vessel” on the other hand refers to a watercraft of any description that’s used or capable of being used as a method of transportation on water.

A “trailer” means a vehicle that is built to be towed, or is towed, by a motor vehicle, and is not capable of being propelled in the course of normal use on roads or road related areas without being towed by a motor vehicle.

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