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Thieves use satnav in stolen cars to lead them to owner's 'home'

Date: 08 May 2013

TRACKER, the UK’s leading stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) company, warns people not to save their home address into their SatNav system, as it could lead car thieves right to their front door. Thieves in stolen vehicles are using the in-car technology to find an owner’s home and burgle their house, as well as stealing their car.

“Many motorists programme their address and mark it as ‘home’ in the SatNav system, but thieves are wise to this and use it to their advantage,” warns Stuart Chapman, TRACKER Police Relationship Manager. “Criminals are targeting long-term car parks, knowing that it could be hours before a driver misses their stolen car. Thieves use the SatNav or GPS system to find the destination marked ‘home’ and burgle the house, often taking a second vehicle, using the keys found in the home. 

“UK police do regular examinations of SatNav systems to gather evidence on criminals, but now thieves are using the same methods to help them with their criminal activities. Car owners need to be aware of this growing threat and take steps to reduce the risks. We urge people to use a postcode some distance from home, rather than their actual address and mark it as a ‘destination’. However, with a TRACKER unit fitted, car owners gain the ultimate protection by helping police recover their stolen vehicle and significantly improving the chances of an arrest.”

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.

Stuart Chapman concludes, “We advise car owners to keep all navigation systems, computers and smartphones out of sight, when leaving their vehicle, including anything containing personal information, such as letters. Never leave keys in the car and don’t hide a spare key in the vehicle, making it easy for thieves. People should invest in good security for their vehicle, including a tracker unit, as this could help police stop thieves in their tracks.”

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