Car theft prevention guide
During our regular commute to work we’re sometimes in such a rush it's as if some of us leave our brains behind. This absentmindedness can also happen whilst we’re in our vehicles, and so we end up leaving valuables on show for crooks. This week, our guide offers advice on how to cut car theft.
Park in a suitable place. This is may sound a cliché, as vehicle theft can happen in even the best parts of town, but attempt to park in well-illuminated areas. Villains don’t like to be watched when at work. If you have a choice, try to use a car park that is part of the Safer Parking Scheme and exhibits the 'Park Mark' emblem.
Keep Keys Close
Ensure your car keys are near to you, as they are the only way to pinch a car fitted with an immobiliser. If you are out, keep your keys in a pocket close to you; don’t leave them in a coat or bag. At home, leaving your car keys next to an open window or letterbox is a real opportunity for car thieves. ‘Fishing’ via the letterbox for vehicle keys using a length of hooked wire has become common.
Keep your valuables hidden. This may be obvious, but when you’re dashing about, you never know what you may leave behind on your dashboard or seat. Most vehicle theft is opportunistic for small items, so what can’t be seen can’t be robbed.
Switch It Off
Don’t leave your car ticking over unattended. It’s against the law and dangerous, but also an open invite that will probably nullify your car insurance claim. Even going to the boot with your engine running is long enough for a chancer to pounce.
Lock Your Car
Ensure your motor is locked and protected when you leave your car to purchase fuel. But bear in mind, being dependent on technology can often be unfortunate. If your car key fob decides to fail, it’s nice to know where your spare keys are to make sure your vehicle is still usable. Some lawbreakers use remote jammers that can read your details, so be wary of anyone watching you a little too closely when you get out of your car. If uncertain, move on.
Perrys’ motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, added: “While we hear a lot about high-tech lawless gangs seeking out pricey cars, most vehicle theft is from soft targets. Making some straightforward checks when you park means that car crooks will walk past your ride and move on to the next driver who didn’t think to secure their car or conceal their valuables.”