Car owners desperate to prevent their vehicles from being stolen have begun removing batteries and fuses each night amid a wave of car thefts.
Dean Stone, who lived in Cairns in far north Queensland, said he was forced to go to extreme measures to protect his car after it was stolen.
When he lived in the tropical city, Stone said he spent a few minutes each night removing the car’s battery and engine fuses, without which the vehicle can’t start.
It takes two minutes to pull a fuse out and put it back in. It has prevented my cars from being stolen,’ he told the Cairns Post Office.
Stone said he believed car and home break-ins had become more common because they were considered “so easy to break into.”
Cairns saw its car theft record break in 2021 when criminals stole a total of 782 vehicles throughout the year, an average of 65.1 cars per month.
The city is on track to break its record again in 2022 with 485 vehicles stolen in the region since the beginning of May this year.
Dean Stone (above) said he removed his car battery and engine fuses every night amid a wave of thefts in Cairns, in far north Queensland.
Craig Moore, owner of the Cairns Moore Solutions security shop, told the Post he had seen a surge in customers as car theft began across the city.
Moore said he had been especially busy over the past year with both burglary victims and those concerned about their home security, flooding his business with inquiries.
“The crime rate in Cairns and FNQ is out of control and if there is anything a person can do to make them feel safe on their property, they should do what they can,” said Moore.
Home security sales have increased dramatically in Cairns over the last year with more residents reporting car and home break-ins.
With thefts on the rise, locals have created online groups dedicated to tracking down stolen items, alerting one another to thefts, and sharing tips to prevent theft.
‘I bought GPS tracking. It costs $100 and $10 a month. I hope I never need it but I know where my car is and where it has been,” one person wrote online.
“Maybe if everyone sold their cars as a preventative measure and we all used taxis and buses that can be safely locked up in a compound, we wouldn’t have to worry about disconnecting and reconnecting batteries, hiding keys, emptying fuel or removing tyres,’ said another.
Mr. Stone recommended that people arm their homes with CCTV cameras, motion sensor alarms, window locks and more than two door locks to increase the security of their home.