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Ten Top Tips to Prevent Theft from Your Car or Van

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These are split into three areas: General, fuel theft and catalytic converter theft.

  1. Keep temptation out of sight for criminals. Never leaving valuable items in your car is obvious, however criminals may be tempted by loose change left on display.
  2. Sat Nav systems are easily sold by criminals. One tell tale sign that you use one can be found by suction marks being left on your windscreen. Use a Nav mat or similar product that prevents suction marks being left.
  3. Don't hide valuables - if you hide items under the seat or in the glove box, chances are someone will have watched you. If you cannot avoid leaving something in your car, put it in your boot before you begin your journey.
  4. Be aware of where you park when using your car, CCTV covered, busy areas are often the best. However be aware that about half of all theft from a car or van crimes outside your home.
  5. When you park your van at home try and use a garage if you have access to one. A Sold Secure Bronze Garage Defender With Lock will help to secure your garage. Sold Secure Bronze level status means the product has been independently tested and approved to Bronze Level status.
  6. Don't leave your house keys or anything with your address on it in your vehicle - someone could steal your keys and then let themselves into your home.
  7. An area often overlooked is fuel theft. Vans may be targeted for fuel theft due to the size of their fuel tank and criminals knowing they are unlikely to be used outside of 'working hours'. Always be aware of where you park your van, look for a well lit parking space, ideally in a busy area. Criminals will look for an easy target, if you park in a busy well lit area you may have less chance of becoming a victim.
  8. Anti fuel theft siphoning kit devices are on the market, however at this time none have gained approval from Secured by Design or Sold Secure and mycrimeprevention.co.uk do not recommend any.
  9. Valuable precious metals that make up catalytic converters such as platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold have increased in value, these are found in catalytic converters.
  10. Catalytic converters are also relatively easy to steal, very few vehicle owners are aware of this crime prevention problem and so don't take crime prevention precautions.
    The first step to preventing being a victim of this crime is understanding the issue.Research has identified that taller vehicles, including 4x4s and vans may be more vulnerable as their catalytic converters (CATs) are more accessible. These vehicles often have larger engines and larger CAT's also.
    The metal shell of your CAT can be marked. If it is removed and the Police seize stolen CATs this may make it easier to return to you as stolen property.
    Be aware and encourage awareness amongst your community. If you see people working under vehicles be aware they may be attacking the CAT or stealing fuel.

How Many Crimes Happen Where I Live?

  • The year to June 2014 Crime Survey for England and Wales stated around 4 in 100 vehicle-owning households being victims in the year ending June 2014.
  • 2,400 incidents per day on average, that's 905,000 a year.
  • If you want to find out exactly how many people have been a victim of crime near you in the last month then keep aware of crime in your local area through local media.

Are There any Products That Could Help?

Following the top ten tips is a good start, some of which are free. If you think of crime prevention as layers of security, then it may be worthwhile to consider purchasing some tried and tested products.
The amount of money you spend could be influenced by the value of items stored within your shed, here are some products that may deter a thief from stealing your property.

  1. Sat Nav antI theft devices. These hide signs that you use a sat nav, reducing the temptation for a criminal to try and steal from you.
  2. Forensic Marking Products. A number of Police forces recommend using products such as SmartWater to forensically mark valuable items of property, a much better system than UV markers. For special offers on these products click here.

We've picked out a number of good options in the shop section of this website. Follow the links to see independent customer reviews of these products from Amazon customers, read reviews to help you decide which product will be best to prevent a criminal stealing from you.

Please share this article, we would really appreciate it and it may help others. Thanks

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Sources
Crime Survey for England and Wales Year ending June 2014
http://onlinenews.warwickshire.police.uk/general_info/VehicleCrime
http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/advice-and-information/crime-prevention/safer-vehicles-cars

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