Driver Warning: How to Protect Vehicles as Auto Theft Incidents Increase

Following reports that auto-related crime is on the rise and that the cost-of-living crisis may contribute to increasing the risk of auto theft, home security brand SimpliSafe conducted research and found that 35 per cent of Britons have experienced a carjacking. A recent trend among criminals is the use of key hacking technology to unlock and steal cars.

Criminals have created devices that allow them to hijack the car’s signal and unlock the vehicle when the key is nearby, even if it’s in the driver’s pocket, purse or inside the house.

According to the data, this method accounted for 93 percent of all recorded car thefts last year.

The likelihood that criminals will be caught stealing cars varies greatly across the country.

Car thieves are eight times more likely to be charged for the crime in the best performing area (Dyfed-Powys) compared to the worst (West Midlands) according to Home Office statistics.

READ MORE: Seniors outraged by car parking law changes

There is an alarming recent car theft trend where vehicles are removed from owners’ units in less than 30 seconds by using an aerial device to pick up the signal from car keys located inside the owner’s home .

Drivers should keep their keys out of sight, always making sure they know exactly where they are.

For added security, keys can be stored in a Faraday bag, also known as a signal blocking bag, lined with layers of metallic material that can block a key’s signals from reaching the outside world.

Don’t leave the car running

As winter approaches, many drivers are guilty of leaving the car running to defrost or rushing home if they’ve forgotten something.

For opportunistic thieves, these moments of carelessness are an advertisement and can easily lead to car theft in a matter of seconds.

In fact, more than 135,000 cars are reported to have been stolen when they were left unattended while defrosting.

Drivers should always try to remember to turn off the engine and lock the doors every time they get out of their car.

Use a steering wheel lock

Although it is considered an older and more traditional method, the steering wheel lock is still an effective way to protect the car. There’s nothing wrong with adding extra security where you can.

Understandably, most modern cars have built-in wheel lock systems that make it difficult for thieves to get away, however, the use of a steering wheel lock also serves as a visual deterrent.

If a thief can see that a car has a locked steering wheel, they will likely be discouraged from trying to break into it.

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