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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

$120 fine warning for unlocked cars

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In an attempt to reduce opportunistic car thefts and break-ins, local police have issued warnings to owners of cars left unlocked around a few popular local carparks in Byron Bay.

On discovering an unsecured vehicle, they placed a sternly worded flyer on the windshield warning the owner that it was ‘an offence to leave your car out in a public place unlocked’.

‘There are infringements of $120 for an unlocked car and keys left in the ignition as well,’ the message continued.

‘Lock it or lose it,’ the message concluded.

While the flyer stated that it was a warning only, the threat of a fine was not well received by some locals.

‘I want to know what the problem is with leaving a car unlocked?’ one resident asked on the Byron Community Board Facebook page.

‘What’s the law based on? Who’s it protecting? Oh that’s right. Silly me… the insurance companies.’

Others supported the move.

‘Given the disproportionate number of thefts in Byron Bay of property and vehicles I think it’s great that police are reminding people to lock up,’ another commenter said.

Detective Inspector Matthew Kehoe said the strategy had been devised by a Crime Prevention Officer at Tweed Heads following a spike in stealing offences from unlocked cars and properties in Kingscliff and Casuarina.

‘We haven’t seen a spike here, but we have had a number of opportunistic property thefts, and the intention was to get on the front foot with it,’ Inspector Kehoe said.

‘I understand there was some fall-out with people worrying about fines. There were no fines issued. It was just to alert people.

‘In all likelihood we’re not going to go around fining people for keeping their cars unlocked before Christmas. That would not be a very good PR exercise.’


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8 COMMENTS

  1. So it’s just threats and bullying,….er to instill a climate of fear and distrust.
    Sounds typical of the attitude of Gladys’s government.

  2. In my street many hoods
    My car is a disgrace needs washing but due to water restrictions its very dirty
    it is an old 4×4 left it open one night watched on security cameras and one inside of car many looked in the window and one said not worth pinching and that was it.
    All smiles the person that did it is no longer in the area.

  3. Great job…. Wasted resources.. Again. Now how about someone do something about the campers in bruns carpark… Went for a surf this morning at sunrise and only at torakina carpark there was 3 vans setup for the night with Poptop roofs up…. Now I’ve heard that they’re setting up tents at Xmas beach carpark….. No response from council?

  4. so leaving car windows down even partially could be leaving it unlocked irrespective of whether there are animals or children inside on a hot day, yippee.

    • This law has been around since the nineties when cars were easier to steal. With vehicle immobilsers on most cars it’s now a pointless law that increases the risk of kids or pets being locked and in heat stress in the car. But to be fair to the Premier our Gladys does not make district level policing decisions and doubtless has more important things on her mind.

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