‘Worrying’ rise in vehicle theft as ‘miscreants’ use high-tech methods
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Vehicle theft in England and Wales has increased from 104,435 in 2021 to a staggering 130,389 last year, new research has found.
Similarly, people having items stolen from inside their vehicles rose by 9.9 percent, with residential burglary also getting worse.
Almost 213,000 had something stolen out of their vehicle, compared to 193,647 in 2021.
However, Devon and Cornwall Police were unable to supply figures to the ONS, so the true number of thefts is likely to be higher.
Gus Park, managing director for AA Insurance Services, said: “The rise in vehicle and residential thefts is worrying for everyone and highlights that security of both car and home are vitally important.
“These figures are in danger of getting out of control, which if left to spiral further will have big cost implications in terms of the impact to wider society let alone the price policy holders pay.
“We urge Police Chiefs and Crime Commissioners across the country to create an action plan to crack the case.”
Criminals are also becoming more sophisticated in their methods, with thieves having to keep pace with manufacturers and the last security measures.
With the rise of keyless cars, fraudsters are using relay boxes to intercept the signal between the key fob and the car to unlock it and potentially drive it away.
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Many experts and leading manufacturers are encouraging drivers to put their key fobs to sleep, or to move them as far away from windows and doors as possible.
When taking things from a car, criminals use more rudimentary methods like smashing the windows and grabbing anything valuable in their sight.
Mr Park continued, saying: “Unfortunately, there is no one thing that can guarantee keeping your car safe from theft, but just making it a bit harder for the thieves can make it less likely that they’ll go for your car.
“Don’t give miscreants an easy win, make them think about finding an easier target than your pride and joy.”
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, analysed by AA Insurance Services, also found that more people had valuable items stolen from their homes last year compared to the year before.
The proportion of thefts is not as stark as other categories thanks to the rise of doorbell cameras deterring would-be thieves from trying to gain entry to the homes.
Homeowners are advised to mark high-value possessions with covert technology like SmartWater and consider getting insurance on individual items.
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