Simple tips for deterring car thieves
- Credit: PA
Lock the car but is it really safe and secure. Here are some simple tips to deter car thieves.
Press the key fob to lock the car and that's it, job done – the car is safe and secure.
This is what many of us think, but thieves are always on the lookout for cars to steal, so here are some tips to help avoid your pride and joy being a target for criminals.
Thieves look for the easiest pickings. If you leave valuables lying around in your car, or even charging cables that suggest there might be a phone or sat-nav in there, they will smash the window. And never leave your car unlocked, or with the keys in it, when you go to pay at a filling station or even when running into the house to get something you've forgotten. It only takes a split second for your car to become a theft statistic.
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When you're at home or in the office, keep your car keys somewhere safe and out of plain sight. If your car keys can be lifted from the worktop by the door or through the letter box, the car is vulnerable. It's best to keep your car keys on your person when not at home. At home put them in a drawer or cupboard that's not an obvious choice.
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If you have a garage, keep your car in it – out of sight is out of mind for thieves. If you park on the street, don't insist on parking in front of your house – it indicates where to break in when they want the keys. Park a few doors away to confuse the casual thief.
When parked use some visible security other than the alarm. A steering wheel or handbrake lock is quick and simple to fit. Basic devices may not resist attack for long, but more substantial ones need power tools to remove. Thieves will move on to a less well-protected target.
Another simple step is to park your car with the wheels turned into the kerb or pointing towards another car parked next to it. It makes it harder for thieves to push or tow it away.
If you have more than one car at home and park them all on the drive, try to arrange them so the most likely to be stolen is furthest from the road.
When you park away from home, choose a well-lit space on a busy road as thieves don't like an audience. If you can spot a CCTV camera, this is a good place to park as criminals will also have noticed it and may fear being filmed.