The latest statistics from UK police forces and Government agencies show a striking increase in certain types of car crime. As vehicle security become reliant on electronic immobilisers and key recognition, more and more vehicles are being stolen using the owner’s keys, or by electronic key cloning.
The low-tech version is often down to our own bad habits, with many owners leaving their keys on show in their hallway, or on a key hook where a thief can simply help him or herself to their pride and joy.
The high-tech version involves expensive key cloning electronic equipment, where a thief uses a blank key and the vehicle’s own key duplication technology to prepare a new and usable key in just a few seconds. This is essentially the same process that a car dealer would use to replace a lost or stolen key.
Government figures for 2010/11 now show that 25 percent of stolen vehicles are taken by using a key, an increase of some 40 percent when compared to just 5 years ago. 34 percent of thefts involved forcing the lock, 18 percent breaking the window and 14 percent helping themselves via an open door.
Most modern vehicles are now fitted with immobilisers, so it is no surprise that criminals are turning to key theft and cloning to steal vehicles when traditional methods such as a brick through the window only serve to get into the car, not to enable a thief to drive it away.
Owners should use more vigilance rather than leaving their keys in plain sight, and should lock their cars on leaving them, even when in a private garage. Just because a vehicle has an immobiliser, it is not immune to theft. Whether they use a high-tech key cloning device or a car transporter that just takes your car away, thieves will go to quite a length to steal an expensive car. Cars can be exported, cloned or have their identity and number plates changed, all for a fast profit at the expense of the owner and their insurance company.
It is worth bearing in mind that many insurance companies might be less inclined to pay out if the vehicle owner has not shown a little diligence.So keep your keys safe, lock your car door and use a mechanical immobiliser or wheel clamp as an additional deterrent, and you will be much less likely to suffer the theft of your vehicle.
By Joanne Hogan, motoring.co.uk
Wed, 17 Oct 2012
Joanne Hogan, motoring.co.uk: 20th Oct 2012 13:27:00
Find us in St. Andrews Road Trading Estate, Bridport, Dorset