Car thefts rise as temperatures plummet

Range Rover Long Wheelbase

As we enjoy the mild autumn weather the long-term forecast is predicting a harsh winter ahead. Some canny car criminals will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast and as temperatures drop it will bring frosty mornings and the first spate of ‘frost-jackings’. TRACKER, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) specialist warns leaving the car unattended on frosty mornings could prove a costly mistake and urges motorists not to leave an open invitation for thieves to steal their cars.

“Frosty mornings, means people leaving their cars unlocked, unattended with the engine running to clear frosted windows which is an absolute ‘gift’ to some car criminals.” says Stuart Chapman, Police Relationships Manager at TRACKER. “Whilst some of the ‘frost jacking thefts’ are opportune many are planned. Organised gangs will target specific makes and models that are parked out overnight. They will keep watch on the vehicles when the weather is cold waiting for the owner to leave it unattended.

“Thieves are opportunists and look out for cars on frosty mornings, shopping around for the most popular makes and models, as temperatures start to drop. Modern cars use inbuilt security that makes it more difficult to steal them without the keys, so every year thieves exploit the cold snap to target car owners who take the risk on frosty mornings.

“Many drivers don’t realise that police may even prosecute them, if their car is stolen while unattended with the engine running. They may also find that insurance companies can refuse the claim for the theft, leaving owners seriously out of pocket.

Chapman concludes, “We’re urging car owners to use common sense, especially on cold mornings, when thieves could be looking for an opportunity to steal a car from under your nose. Fitting a TRACKER unit could significantly increase the chance of a stolen car being recovered, however, never leave your car unattended with the engine running. It may take a few minutes more, but a few simple security precautions can save a lot of heartache and expense if your car is stolen.”

TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. Unlike other tracking systems, the device works even if the vehicle is hidden in a garage or taken abroad, offering car owners the ultimate in peace of mind should the worst happen.

TRACKER’s Winter Security Advice

  • Never leave the keys in the ignition, even if you are just stopping quickly
  • Never leave your car running unattended when de-icing
  • Always lock and secure your vehicle
  • Don’t leave belongings on show, lock them in the boot or take them with you
  • Do not leave technology items on display, such as satnavs, mobile telephones or DVD players. Take them with you or lock them in the boot.
  • Never leave car documents or spare keys inside the car – this only makes it easier for thieves to sell it on
  • Keep doors locked and windows up when driving
  • Park in busy or well-lit and attended car parks near CCTV cameras
  • If you have a garage, use it to park your car
  • At home, don’t keep keys in a place where they can be seen or accessed from outside
  • Consider fitting a tracking device to help police recover your car if it’s stolen

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