It takes a few seconds to steal from a vehicle, many of these crimes are from unlocked vehicles.
Never leave items on display, such as shopping bags, handbags, or coats. Don’t leave spare keys or sat navs in your vehicle, even in the glove box.
At home, don’t leave car keys in clear view from windows or in reach from the letter box. Hook and canes can be used to steal keys through letter boxes. High value and performance cars can be specifically targeted for this type of crime.
Never leave the engine running, especially in frosty weather, car thieves know that people do this.
If you use your vehicle for work, remove your tools or other valuables if possible. Simple things like reversing onto the drive so that the rear doors on a van can’t be opened easily will help to put thieves off.
Park where the vehicle can be well seen, even if it means walking a bit further. Don’t park behind bushes, walls or large vehicles because this gives criminals somewhere to hide. At night try to park in residential areas because people are more likely to be at home not at work.
When using a car park, remove all items on display and think out when you will be returning to the car – will it be dark, if so is there a safer area to park nearer to a street light.
Consider steering locks, alarms, tracking devices and immobilisers and if you have them, use them.
Use anti-tamper or security screws on your registration plate – they can be easily fitted but can’t be removed using standard tools. These area available from various online retailers, DIY and vehicle maintenance stores.
HGV’s and plant are often targeted for diesel theft. Devices are available to buy to help combat this however good security of compounds, lighting, good quality CCTV and natural surveillance will all help to deter this type of crime.
Remember, vehicle crime is an occupation for some people, don’t make your vehicle an easy target for them.
Keeping your keyless car safe
Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough - thieves only need to get close to the key to amplify the signal. Faraday Bags can be purchased online and in stores, these will prevent your signal being intercepted and your vehicle stolen.
Despite social media or public opinion DO NOT leave keys in the fridge, microwave or a tin as this may do more damaged to the key and is unlikely to be effective.
Review your car security. Check for after market security devices such as steering locks or trackers, which are proven to deter thieves. If your vehicle has a manufacturer's installed tracker, check with your insurance before you alter it as it may invalidate your insurance.
Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
If you have a garage, use it.
See how quickly criminals use these methods to gain keyless entry to a car in the West Midlands:
Safest place to leave your keys
Don't let them in
Check all the doors and windows to your property are closed and locked. Don't forget the door isn't fully locked until you have lifted the handle, turned the key or thumb-turn and removed the key. Place the key out of sight but readily available in case of fire. When replacing a Europrofile lock cylinder, ensure that you get a TS007 three star anti-snap, anti-bumb lock cylinder. If you have an intruder alarm, activate the downstairs zone before you go to bed. If not, you can consider a lower cost battery operated passive infra red (PIR) sensor alarm.
Outside, prevent burglars gaining easy access to vulnerable windows and doors by securing the boundaries to your property and making sure side and rear gates are closed and locked.
Place car keys somewhere safe and out of sight. Put them in a drawer (preferably one that is noisy to open) or some other secure place, but to avoid any confrontation, don't take the keys to the bedroom with you.
Motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles
Park somewhere easily visible and public where suspicious behaviour would be noticed.
Always lock up and use the alarm if you have one.
If there is a parking stand use it and secure your bike with a good quality chain through the frame. Use railings or lamp posts - a solid structure that can’t be moved. Get a ground anchor or similar for at home, even if you park in a shed or garage.
Mark the frame with your post code using a permanent property marking product.
If you have quick release wheels, take off the front wheel and lock it to the frame and back wheel.
Register your bicycle for FREE at Bike Register.