Latest crime statistics show vehicle thefts in the Shire of Halls Creek were their highest in nine years in 2022 as the youth fad of stealing cars and using them in TikTok videos on social media continued. Police in the Shire of Halls Creek received 76 reports of vehicle thefts with the worst month being November when 17 were stolen. It was also a bad year for property damage with 277 reports to police — the second worst year since digital records became publicly available in 2014. Halls Creek resident Chris Griffin, who had a Toyota LandCruiser ute stolen from his work yard at Neil Mansell Transport in November said he wasn’t surprised. “I think in the last 12 months it has gotten worse. I think it’s always been an issue but surprisingly enough since the bridge was washed out at Fitzroy (in January) it has dropped,” he said. Mr Griffin has resorted to using a forklift to put two, 500kg blocks of concrete behind his vehicle at night after someone tried to steal it in October and smashed the ignition box. The following month he had the Toyota LandCruiser ute, that was due to be transported, stolen from his yard while he was unloading a truck with its driver. The youths who stole that ute then drove around Halls Creek throughout the night before flipping the vehicle on its roof outside the Yardgee Town Camp. Footage of the upturned vehicle was then posted on TikTok. Last year there were also hundreds of reports of property damage, particularly rocks being thrown at windows and vehicles. Power contractor Tony Lister was confronted by a group of young people who threw rocks at his business before smashing a window of his vehicle last month. CCTV footage shows Mr Lister rushing to unlock his door and enter moments before a youth throws a rock through the window. Youths can also be seen trying to open his vehicle parked in the driveway before smashing a window with a rock and trying to climb in through the broken glass. Halls Creek officer in charge Senior Sergeant Simon Womersley said there were a lot more people in Halls Creek late last year however things had since improved with only five vehicles reported stolen since January 1. “At the moment this year we are going great, stolen vehicles are going down and we are working closely with our stakeholders in the community to try to set up programs for young people.” He also said rock throwing was an ongoing issue that they were trying to tackle through education. Meanwhile, in Kununurra, there were 96 vehicles stolen last year with the worst month also being November when police received 19 reports of theft. There were also 307 reports of stealing, with a spike in October of 41 cases. Kununurra Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Neil Vanderplank said late last year they had a couple of offenders released on bail or time in custody. “A number of cars got pinched around that period. Keys were being left on tables outside of hotel rooms or hotel rooms were left unlocked, there were several opportunistic thefts,” he said.