Here are some of the most commonly stolen items, left on view in vehicles and stolen by car criminals:
Satellite navigation systems
- One of the most desirable motoring accessories currently available. Easy to steal,easily to carry and extremely easy to sell on by the car criminal. Mark your GPS with your car number plate to make it less easy to sell if it is stolen. Never program your home address into the device under an obvious name such as "home" as a thief will be able to locate where you live and if your car is in town, they may assume that your home is likely to be empty. Never leave your GPS equipment in the car, always take it with you. Make sure the GPS mounting stalk is removed from the windscreen and wipe away any suction mark left on the glass - this is a clear indication there may a GPS hidden inside the car.
- These have a high resale value for car criminals who will be more than happy to steal them from your car if they are left on view - and they usually benefit from having a case to make them easy to carry away. You not only lose your computer but all the information stored on it. This could affect your business, result in customers no longer having trust in you if you lose their data or could mean personal information such as photos and documents are lost to you. Never leave your computer in your car.
- These remain popular with thieves. Quick to remove from the car, they are easily sold on. Always remove the detachable control panel and take it with you when you leave your vehicle. If there is a PIN number security code in the audio equipment ensure it has been activated. Never keep the Pin number with the stereo or with the user manual in the car.
- It doesn't matter what your choice of music is - CDs left on view in a vehicle are music to the ears of car criminals who steal them to sell on. Never have large numbers of CDs in your vehicle and always take them with you in a portable CD case when you leave the car.
- These are attractive to car thieves as they are the gateway to untold riches. Always take your money / wallet / purse with you. Don't hide it inside the car.
- The two places a car thief will look first on breaking into a car are inside the glove box or under the car seat.
- Thieves have even been known to break in to a car for a few loose coins - after all it’s all money in their pocket.
- These have a high resale value for the car criminal, are easy to carry and are easy to sell on. For the owner/loser it means inconvenience as the loss of all your contact numbers could lead to possible loss of business and personal opportunities as no one will be able to contact you.
- A treasure trove of opportunity awaits a car criminal who sees items such as cameras, video cameras, watches, IPods and even jewellery left on view inside the car. A smashed window, a few seconds and they are away with your property.
- Frequently left on view on the back seat of the car. Popular with thieves, not only for their resale value, but the pockets may contain valuable items such as money, keys or even details of where you live. One thief broke into a car to steal hat, gloves and a scarf on one cold night.
- Number plates are generally stolen in order to be used on vehicles involved in other criminal activity. You can prevent this by having anti-theft number plates fitted which shatter when anyone tampers with them, or self locking screws to attach them. Where possible, park in well lit, busy car parks or where there is security coverage including CCTV monitoring.
- Never ever leave tools in your vehicle overnight. Always remove them to a secure locked area and place a notice or sticker in the window stating that tools are removed overnight. You will not only have the expense and frustration of having to source and replace specialist equipment, if they are stolen, but you could lose valuable work if you don't have the tools to do the job.