How To Protect Your Rights During A Theft of A Motor Vehicle?

October 16, 2023    Traffic lawyers Perth
How To Protect Your Rights During A Theft of A Motor Vehicle?

Motor vehicle theft in Australia is something that one might believe will never occur to them, but anyone can become a target of vehicle larceny. Apart from that, professionals have said that Australia has the most elevated number of automobile larcenies globally.

When one discovers that someone has pinched their automobile, they should instantly contact law enforcement. To gain more knowledge about vehicle theft in Australia, this post can help.

Understanding the Motor Vehicle Theft in Australia

Motor vehicle theft takes place when an individual takes another person’s vehicle without their permission to deprive the person of using the vehicle. Here, the motor vehicles include:

  • Equipment/plant vehicle
  • Buses
  • Trucks
  • Campervans
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars

But in recent years, experts have pointed out that the larceny from a motor vehicle, especially the ones that are documented by the authority, has lessened significantly. Back in 2001, approximately 140,000 automobiles were stolen, and it dropped to 84,900 in 2005.

In 2011, the authority registered 55,382 automobiles, and back in 2017, the numbers sank to 52,858 in Australia. Male and young drivers robbed the majority of the vehicles, and many of them were joyriders.

But in many of the cases, the theft of a motor vehicle took place by all the organised gangs. Besides that, a theft of a motor vehicle can cost around $1 billion each year in Australia.

What are the Charges of Vehicle Theft in Australia?

In Australia, stealing someone’s vehicle without their consent is viewed as a criminal offence. If found culpable, one will receive a sentence of 10 years of incarceration.

This sort of lawsuit is governed by the Local Court, where the highest sentence is confined to an internment of 2 years. Otherwise, the person has to pay a forfeiture of $11,000 for the single violation.

These offences are classified as “TABLE 1”, which means the Local Court is responsible for dealing with these cases. The accused individual or the prosecutor can also take this matter to the District Court if needed.

This type of offence is pretty different and severe from the offence where a person takes the vehicle without the owner’s permission, which is known as “Joyriding”.

The difference here is that the prosecutor has provided solid evidence against the accused individual that they stole the vehicle, intending to deprive the owner of the vehicle.

What Can You Do When the Vehicle Gets Stolen?

The Traffic Lawyers in Perth WA, have said that when a person’s vehicle gets stolen, he/she should do the following:

1. Try to Stay Calm

Losing the vehicle can be nerve-wracking for many individuals, but panicking will not help in such situations either. So, vehicle owners should stay as calm as possible. Here is a small illustration of such situations:

“Try looking around the area where the vehicle was parked and ask some people nearby whether or not they have seen any type of activity.”.

There might be a high chance that a person saw the vehicle leave. One must jot all the things that that person saw and also take their contact information.

Vehicle owners should also check whether or not the area has any CCTV cameras, which will help the authorities to locate the person who stole the vehicle.

2. Contact the Police

The next step is to call the police. Contacting the police immediately will increase the chances of getting the vehicle faster. One should call “000” once they realise their vehicle has been stolen.

After letting the authorities know, they will contact the police officers on duty to keep a lookout for the stolen vehicle. Vehicle owners should also file a report for the stolen and provide the police with accurate information about their vehicle, such as the VIN number, make and model.

He/she also has to file a report on the personal belongings that were present inside the vehicle when it got stolen, especially if they’re expensive or important.

3. Speak to the Insurance Provider

After reporting the police, vehicle owners should also report the matter to their insurance provider. One should tell the insurance provider that he/she is calling because of a vehicle theft and confirm the policy number.

That way, they can confirm the coverage and then offer plenty of information on the vehicle theft to the insurance firm. For people who possess complete vehicle insurance, the insurance provider will cover the complete expense of the following:

  • Damaged caused due to the theft when it does turn up
  • Value of the stolen vehicle when it’s not found
  • Cost of the vehicle rental

When the vehicle is under a finance contract, one should contact the lender. One has to provide the lender and the insurance company with a copy of the policy report, so be sure to keep it on hand.

4. Inform Others About the Stolen Vehicle

When he/she has their work laptop, credit cards, IDs and various other belongings inside the vehicle, it’s compulsory to inform the workplace, banks, and various other contacts immediately.

One should also hire a locksmith and change all the locks of the house if he/she has left the home keys inside the vehicle.

5. Look for the Stolen Vehicle Online

Just like how people can easily Find the Best Theft Of Motor Vehicle Lawyer online, one can also find their stolen vehicle on the online platform. Go through all the vehicle selling websites and check if he/she finds a vehicle that matches perfectly with the description of their vehicle.

Individuals will also come across online platforms where they can provide a description of their stolen vehicle, and other users will keep a lookout for it.

6. Get a Replacement

The police have worked hard in looking for the stolen vehicle and couldn’t locate it or didn’t have any leads, and one should consider getting a replacement. The vehicle insurance will cover up for the new automobile, and for that, one must speak with their insurance provider.

They will provide a detailed explanation of how to get the work done and what are the timeframes it has in-store.

Ending Note

Motor vehicle larceny occurs in every region of Australia. If he/she has discovered that their automobile has been pinched, they should contact the authorities instantly.

Furthermore, consulting the matter with the best traffic lawyers in Perth can also help. It’s because these Traffic Lawyers have the knowledge and understanding of how to deal with cases of motor vehicle theft.

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