Professional thieves who set their sights on a Porsche 911 Carrera and planned its theft while its owners were on holiday abroad, have been outsmarted by stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert Tracker and Surrey Police. The thieves, who forced entry to the owner’s Epsom home to seek out the vehicle’s documentation before stealing it, were unaware that the Porsche was fitted with a Tracker SVR device. Once activated, it led the Police to the vehicle’s whereabouts in Cobham within two hours.
Whilst the vehicle had an insurance value of £14,000, the owner had recently spent another £14,000, it had very low mileage and it had been kept in a garage, so was worth far more than the insured value.
The owner commented, “The car is a truly valuable personal possession and one that cannot be replaced. Understandably, I was devasted to find it had been taken when I returned home to the U.K. It’s not like the car was on show, it was out of sight of the main road at the back of the house. Clearly the thieves knew what they wanted, they had even gone through my paperwork in my office to retrieve the vehicle’s documentation. If it hadn’t been for Surrey police who did an amazing job and of course Tracker, I doubt I would have been reunited with my car. It was such a relief, as there would be no way I could have replaced it like-for-like on an insurance pay out.”
Steve Whittaker, Tracker Police Liaison Manager comments, “The evidence would suggest that the burglary was carried out on the morning that the owner returned home. Clearly it was a targeted crime as the thieves just stole the car, along with key paperwork. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was stolen to order. The car was located 5 miles away, parked up on false plates in a quiet residential road. Car thieves tend to leave stolen cars for 48 hours to see if they are fitted with a tracking device, then return to check. Thankfully, in a joint operation with Surrey police we were able to successfully recover the car before it was taken to be either shipped abroad or broken down for parts.”
Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Its detection units are fitted in over 2000 police patrol vehicles and throughout the national fleet of Police helicopters that comprise the National Police Air Service (NPAS). It is also the only vehicle tracking company that uses the combination of VHF with GPS/GSM technology.
TRACKER’S TOP TIPS FOR VEHICLE SECURITY
- Protect the key fob - One element of Keyless car theft works through a relay-style electronic device, which tricks the keyless entry technology installed in the vehicle into thinking that the key is in very close proximity to the car, allowing instant remote access. To prevent a relay attack, all keys, including your spare key should be stored away from where the vehicle is kept when not in use, and the signal blocked by keeping the key fob in a closed tin or faraday bag.
- Switch off and lock up – Cars should not be left running idle and unattended, even when defrosting windscreens and windows on a cold morning.
- Make life difficult – Security posts and/or a substantial gate should be fitted for cars parked on driveways, as physical barriers will make thieves think twice.
- Keep paperwork indoors - Car documents and spare keys should not be left inside the car as it makes it easier for thieves to sell it on.
- Plan for the worst - Take car security measures to protect your car from being stolen in the first place, such as installing security lighting where you park your car and using a steering wheel lock.
- Track it - In the event that the criminals get past the usual security measures, a Tracker device – with a unique combination of GPS and Very High Frequency (VHF) capability – gives owners the best chance of their car being found before it is stripped for parts or shipped abroad.