Drivers warned of vehicle thefts increasing as police urge caution

Car crime: Former burglar advises drivers to turn wheels into kerb

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Bedford Community Policing Team shared information on social media, warning drivers to be on the lookout for any indications of car theft, with thefts around the country on the increase. They reported that they dealt with seven thefts of motor vehicles and four thefts from motor vehicles in just one night.

The criminals were seemingly on the lookout for anything, stealing from a mix of cars, vans and motorbikes.

The Policing Team urged drivers to remember to remove any valuables or tools and lock their doors when they exit the vehicle.

People should also consider getting a steering wheel lock and a signal-blocking Faraday pouch if they have a keyless car.

For any motorbike owners, they should consider installing a ground anchor and using a sturdy chain and padlock, as well as parking in a well lit area.

It was also recommended drivers could invest in a vehicle tracking device, allowing motorists to quickly recover their vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

This comes as one motorist’s forward thinking allowed them to recover their stolen car after just 36 minutes.

Vehicle tracking company Tracker was notified that an Aviva-insured 4X4 had been stolen at 9.36am and started working with the police to recover it immediately.

Thanks to the quick thinking of the driver and Tracker, the police found the vehicle undamaged at 10.12am – just 36 minutes after being reported.

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The driver was said to be overjoyed with the return of her vehicle as she had purchased the vehicle as used and wasn’t aware that a tracker had been installed.

Tracker devices can be placed almost anywhere on a vehicle, making it difficult for thieves to know whether one is present. 

Waseem Malik, Chief Claims Officer, Aviva UK, says: “A stolen car can be extremely distressing for the owner, not to mention inconvenient, so this is a brilliant outcome for the customer. 

“Unfortunately, thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so we’d urge drivers to remain vigilant and take steps to secure their vehicles. 

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“But where the worst happens, we are there to assist our customers. We’ve seen a number of claims where a stolen car has been found on the same day – but to find one in just 36 minutes is really something else.”

Aviva has worked with Tracker for a number of years, locating hundreds of stolen customer vehicles through the relationship. 

The two organisations have recently reviewed their processes to make it possible to find vehicles even more quickly.

Mark Rose, Managing Director of Tracker Network, said prestige 4X4s have dominated the annual top 10 most stolen and recovered table every year for the last decade.

They have become a go-to for criminals who exploit the demand for these vehicles overseas, with Tracker intercepting shipping containers packed with stolen vehicles at ports around the country.

He added: “Despite ever-advancing anti-theft technologies, professional thieves continue to be quick to adapt, which is why we are working closely with Aviva to keep one step ahead and close the net on criminals.  

“Whilst a stolen vehicle recovery solution won’t necessarily stop your vehicle being stolen, 95 percent fitted with a Tracker device are successfully recovered, thanks to our exclusive nationwide partnership with the UK’s police. 

“What’s more, 80 percent of those stolen vehicles recovered by Tracker are done so within 24 hours, as Aviva’s customers experienced.”

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