Keep car keys safe, keep car theives at bay
Date: 28 September 2016
According to new survey figures released by the SMMT* on behalf of the government, the police and insurers, 43% of motorists have left their car keys with a stranger, such as a mechanic or valet, despite the fact car key cloning is on the rise. In contrast only 11% said they have done the same with their house keys. TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation) has helped police recover £898,700 worth of stolen vehicles, January-August 2016, with almost half of these taken using the owner’s keys. These figures highlight the value of TRACKER’s stolen vehicle recovery technology, as a way to ensure car owners stay one step ahead of thieves.
“Vehicle thefts rose by 8% in the year to March 2016**, making this the first significant increase since the 1990s, when thefts reached their peak,” explains Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER. “Cars today are more secure than ever before, featuring a range of security features such as an immobiliser, an alarm and double locking as standard, all of which are effectively keeping thieves at bay. However, car owners are relying on this technology a little too much and don’t, perhaps, apply the commons sense precautions they may have 10 years ago.
The YouGov survey findings also show that motorists hand their keys over to people with very little thought. Today’s car thieves are more likely to belong to organised gangs, rather than opportunistic kids out for a joyride, says TRACKER. By infiltrating seemingly legitimate businesses, criminals use hi-tech equipment to create duplicate keys, which help them access car security systems.
Continues Andy Barrs, “It’s worth remembering that technology is just one part of vehicle security. Cars owners need to remain vigilant and understand the new generation of car thieves. Sometimes, leaving your car keys with someone is unavoidable, but owners can check the credentials of their mechanic to ensure they adhere to an industry code of conduct.
“Always check that the car is locked before walking away and park in well-lit areas with CCTV.
Don’t leave keys in plain sight, even at home, as criminals all too often burgle a house to get the keys. Whilst a TRACKER device won’t stop a car being stolen, it does significantly increase the chances of police locating it and returning it to the owner.”
Unlike other devices, TRACKER’s unique technology can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container. TRACKER has been reuniting car lovers with their vehicles for over 20 years, and it’s this expertise which makes TRACKER the leader in stolen vehicle recovery. 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.
** Source: ONS Crime Survey of England and Wales, January 2016