Car Theft On The Rise
Think your modern car is safe from thieves? Think again!
Car theft has risen year on year following a previous decline which saw car theft fall to a record low in 2014. This has especially increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initial decline coincided with modern technology being implemented such as the improved development of engine immobilisers and keyless technology. However, thieves have now developed new techniques and technology themselves to bypass these modern anti-theft measures.
London was the worst-hit place in the United Kingdom with just short of a third of the overall car thefts, London was followed by the West Midlands & Greater Manchester.
Reportedly 70% of Victims still have their keys, thieves no longer need to smash your window or hotwire your vehicle. The latest method is referred to as “Keyless Theft” or “Relay Theft” whereby criminals use a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter to “steal” the signal to your car keys. One criminal will stand by the car with a transmitter, while a second uses an amplifier around the perimeter of the house. If the car key is close enough the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the accomplice’s transmitter.
What measures can you take to protect yourself and your business?
KEEP YOUR VEHICLE KEYS AWAY FROM THE FRONT DOOR
Relay theft relies on picking up a signal from your car keys. The closer they are to the front door the easier it is for the signal to be picked up and transmitted. For added security, a metal box, such as a key box could prevent the signal from being accessed.
CHECK YOUR CARS ARE LOCKED
Might sound obvious but this is bread and butter to a thief, how many times do you arrive at your car and it is unlocked? It is more common than you probably think. You have shown customers around the cars all day long often opening and closing them many times. Before you leave on an evening just do one final check to ensure all cars are locked and all keys removed.
DON’T LEAVE ITEMS ON SHOW
Again it might sound obvious but people still leave bags, money, and even mobile phones on show. They may just steal the items and not your car but you are still left with a big hole in your pocket.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAR UNATTENDED…
It is amazing how many times you still hear about this sort of car theft crime. It is commonplace for motor dealers to start the engine of a car for a potential customer. The crucial thing is to not leave the car unattended. A common trick is for a second thief to phone the dealership whilst the 1st thief is being shown the vehicle. When the salesperson leaves the vehicle to answer the phone, the thief simply drives off. Often this kind of deception would not be covered by your insurance so be careful.
EXTRA SECURITY PROTECTIONS…
Upgrade to a monitored alarm? Sure they are more expensive and often require a monthly subscription but the added protection is well worth the investment.
CCTV? It could help put criminals where they belong and also act as a visual deterrent.
Security Light? Also acts as a deterrent, makes criminals more visible.
Steering Wheel Lock and Wheel Clamps? Old school method but adds a bit of physical security.
Ground posts? Again, surrounding your forecourt or driveway with steel ground posts would make it more difficult for thieves to remove your vehicle.
It is fairly well accepted that thieves will always come up with new ways of taking your property but it is also common for thieves to attack the easiest target. Therefore, whilst making your property as secure as possible will not guarantee its safety it can go a long way to deterring would-be thieves from targeting you.
Does anyone else have any suggestions not listed above? Let us know!!