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Police fail to solve three out of four car thefts, but what can you do to keep your vehicle safe?

By Jack Evans | February 23, 2024

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Leaving your car parked up is part and parcel of vehicle ownership, so is there anything you’re able to do to make your motor less appealing to thieves? We’ve got some of the best tips and tricks to follow.

Police fail to solve three out of four car thefts, but what can you do to keep your vehicle safe?

New figures have shown that three in four car thefts went unsolved last year, with police failing to find an answer to more than 100,000 cases of stolen motor vehicles in England and Wales in the year ending last September. 

The data, which was produced by the Liberal Democrats from House of Commons Library analysis, found that just two per cent of these incidents resulted in a suspect being charged or summonsed. In fact, the data shows that unsolved cases were up seven per cent on the previous year, This is Money has said. 

But leaving your car parked up is part and parcel of vehicle ownership, so is there anything you’re able to do to make your motor less appealing to thieves? We’ve got some of the best tips and tricks to follow. 

Keep valuables out of sight

One of the ways to stop would-be thieves from seeing your car as a target is to remove any signs that showcase your car as a target. This starts with valuables, no matter how small. Remove bags, coats and shoes, taking them indoors where you can or storing them in the boot if you’re not able to bring them with you. 

If you’re using a suction-mounted sat-nav then make sure you remove the device and wipe off the mark left on the glass, too, as this can sometimes lead thieves to believe that there’s still some tech in the car. We’d also remove any charging cables or leads, too. 

Park in a well-lit area

Thieves like to operate in hard-to-see areas, which is why dark car parks provide the ideal opportunity to break into a car. If you can, try to find a well-lit area if you’re parking up and, if you’re able to, check to see whether there are any CCTV cameras covering the spot you’ve chosen. 

Of course, it isn’t always easy to find such places but you should definitely be wary of where you’re leaving your car. A busy area, where people are often walking by, can also prove a deterrent to thieves. 

Invest in a key-blocker pouch

Keyless entry-related car thefts have soared in recent years as the technology has become more widespread. Essentially, it works by criminals using a ‘relay’ device which can lock onto the signal sent by your car’s key, clone that signal and then use it to unlock and start your car. 

However, a signal-blocking pouch - often referred to as a ‘Faraday case’ - can stop thieves in their tracks. It’ll stop the signal from your key escaping, meaning that criminals aren’t able to lock onto it and use it to gain access to your car. 

Try a steering wheel lock

It might sound old-school, but if you’re really worried about your car being stolen then a traditional steering wheel lock can be the ultimate deterrent. Short of breaking out the angle grinder, many thieves will be hard-pressed to crack one of these, particularly during the night when a lot of noise causes suspicion. 

These locks aren’t too expensive, either, and though you’ll have to take them off each time you get behind the wheel, can provide an extra bit of peace of mind when it comes to car security. 

Install a tracker 

Car trackers are a modern bit of technology that can help the authorities get a precise location of your car if it is stolen. There are plenty of suppliers of these systems, too, and the tracker itself can be embedded in a part of the car which will make it hard to find for thieves. 

While a tracker can’t stop your car from being stolen in the first place, it does provide the authorities with a proper tool to find your vehicle and get it back to you. 

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