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Theft from Motor Vehicles

Theft from vehicle with open windowsWith the exception of specialist theft for car parts such as catalytic converters, most car theft from motor vehicles is opportunistic. This often involves forced entry to vehicles but it is surprising just how many cars are left unlocked.

You can reduce the risks by following some simple advice:

  • Make sure you have locked your vehicle and your windows are closed too, even for short stops.
  • Use your garage or park in well-lit, well-populated and overlooked areas.
  • Remove your valuables. Even bags, jackets, cases and toys have a value to a thief.  
  • Lock possessions away in your boot, but only if you cannot access the boot from the rear seats and you cannot unlock the boot from a switch in the cabin.
  • Remove loose change from view. Its presence may tip the scales in any decision on whether to attempt to break in.
  • Remove electronics such as sat-navs. You should also remove any holders or chargers and wipe clear suction cup marks.
  • Register expensive in-car entertainment systems with Immobilise
  • Keep ID badges on your person as they are attractive to fraudsters.
  • Don't assume your vehicle has locked properly using a key fob lock. Criminals can use devices which block the signal. Always check your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle unattended.

Thefts from vans:

  • When tools and equipment are not being used, ensure they are kept securely in a lockable store rather than in your vehicle.
  • Consider whether the storage area can be alarmed. If the equipment is portable, take it with you.
  • Don't leave tools in vehicles unattended or overnight, and place a sign in the window stating they have been removed.
  • Visibly mark your machinery and tools using an engraving or chemical etching kit or use a forensic marking kit. Place a sticker in your window to say you have done so - the signage alone, can be a very effective deterrent. 
  • Consider the use of security patrols around building sites.
  • Keep the access to building sites secure - fences and gates help prevent unauthorised entry.

Wheels and Tyres

Locking wheel nuts are commonplace on newer vehicles but lower value models may have cheaper steel rims that may not be locked. The average cost of four tyres is over £200, so we recommend you fit all your wheels with locking wheel nuts.

For information on theft of registration plate, please click here.