You may remember a few weeks ago, we posted an article on how burglary is up in Liverpool. Well, now its time for us to come and help you by giving you some helpful tips and advice to avoid being a victim of burglary or car theft. First, we will explain why someone might steal a car and what they expect to gain. Then we will let you know what they look for when picking a target. This will help you avoid simple mistakes and seriously reduce your risk of theft.
Why Would Someone Steal a Car?
People think it’s cut and dry that people steal a car to rob a bank. Others think it’s to just take a joy ride in. There are only a small amount who think it gets sent to a chop shop to be sold for parts. Apparently, that is all for the movies according to some people. However, it is the majority of car thefts in Liverpool that head to chop shops.
The thieves target cars considered “everyday cars” your Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra. That is because they can sell the parts a lot quicker as they are more popular.
After your car is stolen it is likely being driven to somewhere quiet. It’s registration plates are changed most of the time and it’s parked up out of sight of the main road. The car is parked in locations that are not easily visible however, do not raise concern with residents in the area. We see cars parked on the corner of roads or at car parks around flats as no one registers a new car in the area as a problem. This is called pinch and park, or park and snare which is a growing tactic on hiding stolen cars.
The car is left there for a few days (exact number varies). This is to ensure that there is no tracker on the car or the owner doesn’t find it. It’s rare for a thief to take your car miles away as this risks being flagged up on an ANPR camera. So if you do have your car stolen, you should think about where to look as the chances are you will find it before the police do.
How to Avoid Having Your Car Stolen During a Break-In
Ok, we’ve told you why someone may steal a car, let’s look at how they pick their victims. We will analyse some tips you can follow to avoid becoming a victim. You will also get a better understanding of what thieves look for when they target your homes.
Locking your car reduces the risk of it being stolen
1. Lock Your Car
We know this may sound obvious, however, thieves don’t hot wire cars nowadays. I know some of you may read this thinking “well how do they take it then”. Well, the sneaky little beggars work in a number of ways. Some come equipped with computers, this allows them to copy your key and just drive away without making a sound. Others may see it as a point of weakness if you haven’t locked your car then what else isn’t locked. So keep it locked and don’t look like an easy target.
Keep Your Keys Out of Sight
2. Keep Your Keys Out of Sight
So your keys are in the house but do you ever consider how visible they are? This is very important to a thief targeting your house. If you can see the keys through the window or the letterbox then they don’t have to go rummaging through your house. It makes their job so much easier and quicker. If your keys are in sight they only have to get through the door and they will be out of the house before you decided if you heard a noise or not.
Lock Your Doors
3. Lock Your Front Door
Ok, you can’t open your door from the outside. That’s what most people with a uPVC door say to me. However, the thieves are not opening your door from the outside. They are opening it from the inside when it isn’t locked. With tools such as coat hangers, they reach through your letterbox and pull the handle down. This allows them to open the door from the inside and gain easy access to your home.
Now it gets a bit scary, doesn’t it? Imagine you haven’t done anything on this list so far. Now your cars open, they know where your keys are and they’re inside your home. You’re still asleep in bed and have no idea what’s going on. All they know is they have your car key and they don’t even need to unlock it to take it. They even have your house keys so you may need an emergency locksmith to help change your locks.
Turn Your Alarm On
4. Turn Your Alarm On & Activate Door Chime
Now I hope I don’t have to go into why you should turn your alarm on to avoid a burglary. However, some people may not even be aware of what a door chime is. It’s not what people press when they want you to answer the door. It’s a noise your alarm can make when the front door is opened. Normally, it consists of two beeps (which can vary from alarm to alarm). This is useful for daytime burglary as you can hear the door open with the chime. This gets you alerted straight away and could send a thief running within in an instant.
Get a Dog
5. Get a Dog
Lastly, a dog, no matter how big or small is a great deterrent for would-be thieves. As soon as they see one, they generally start running. Your dog is also likely to make all kinds of noise that would wake yourselves and maybe even your neighbours. I would think about getting a dog before you consider getting a security light or CCTV.
Why No Other Equipment?
I can already hear you ask, why haven’t you included a security light or CCTV. Well, I didn’t because apart from a dog, I wanted to display stuff you can do that doesn’t cost you extra money. As a locksmith, we have also seen people with CCTV and security lights still become victims of burglary. They then need to call us for a burglary repair leaving them further out of pocket. For some reason, thieves are brazen thugs who show no regard for lights or CCTV. In fact, they may believe the lights help them see better as you could be asleep and will not notice the light.
To summarise, there are probably 100s more items you can cover to avoid your car being stolen. However, we have this list of 5 that are easy to do and cost little or no money. Burglary can be a very expensive crime to be a victim of so it’s important you do all you can to avoid this from happening.