Car theft. With hi-tech alarms, immobilisers and keyless cars we thought it was a thing of the past. Now we’re hearing about new forms of stealing vehicles on an almost daily basis – no least through relay theft, where the criminals access your key codes remotely. No surprise then, that car theft is on the rise. In Britain, there has been a 30% rise in cars stolen over the past 4 years. That is a shocking statistic.
So how do you ensure you’re not a victim?
Last month we wrote a blog about keeping your keys in a safe place at home – in a faraday bag, where criminals can’t get a signal to access the codes on the key fob. (So have you acted on it??)
There’s more to be done. Careful with your central locking, firstly. Ensure your fob is working by waiting to hear the central locking activate. Where applicable, make sure the indicators flash. If they don’t, the system may be being jammed by thieves. Get into the habit of pulling the door handle as you walk away – to be sure!
Park in a well lilt place, even during daylight – you can’t always be sure when you will end up leaving. In car parks, park near to other cars and to the main entrance.
It’s an obvious one, but people persist in leaving their valuable on view in their cars – a sure way to raise your chances of being robbed. Don’t just think in terms of valuables, either. Bags, coats, and even jumpers are all attractive to a thief, because of the possibility that they are concealing valuables.
Also, remember that paperwork on view can be targeted for the purposes of identity theft.
Consider upgrading your car’s security equipment. Steering wheel locks may be cumbersome but are very effective as a deterrent. Or you might even invest in a tracking device so the Gardai will be able to locate your car if stolen.
Another obvious tip – don’t leave your car running unattended. De-icing your car on a winter’s morning is a case in point where there has been an upsurge in car theft. But we see it also with people simply popping into a shop.
Remember – the thieves are always likely to be a step ahead of you, so don’t give them any opportunity!