RACQ has urged beachgoers to take extra care of their personal belongings and to safeguard their car keys from thieves.
Stolen keys were one of the most common methods of vehicle theft and RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said the beach was an area thieves often targeted, especially at this time of the year.
"Thieves are known to take keys from beachgoers' belongings while they're out swimming and once they have them they're able to casually return to the car park to steal their vehicle," Mr Sopinski said.
"It's not until sometime later when the owner leaves the beach that they realise their car keys - and their car - often along with other valuable personal possessions are missing, allowing the thief plenty of time to escape."
Mr Sopinski said new technology could work in the favour of thieves.
"The majority of new cars are fitted with central locking, meaning a savvy thief doesn't need to know which car the keys belonged to," he said.
"They can simply click the remote controlled key for the relevant car to flash its lights and unlock.
"Motorists should be aware that once a thief has their car key, the car is as good as gone. It doesn't matter if an alarm system or immobiliser is installed.
"Whenever possible beachgoers should consider operating a buddy system with their friends, taking turns swimming and keeping an eye on belongings."
RACQ's latest Car Security Index showed in the past year, 12 percent of cars stolen were taken from public car parks and three percent from work car parks.
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