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From today`s Daily Telegraph. The list at the end is interesting for what is not included !

How to avoid being a car-theft victim

ByAlex Robbins16 July 2021 • 10:22am
how to avoid car theft someone breaking into your car stop
Despite advances in technology, car crime is still a problem CREDIT: Sean Dempsey/PA

Your car is an object of desire – but it’s not only an object of desire for you. Whether it’s the car itself or the valuables within, your car is as much a target for thieves as it ever was. “But my car has an alarm and an immobiliser,” you say. “That’s me covered.” Not exactly.

It’s true that modern security systems are great deterrents. But survey after survey shows that thieves are continuing to target prestige vehicles, such as the Range Rover Sport, and there’s much more you can do to keep your car safe than just pressing the button on your car’s remote and walking away. 

Check it’s locked, and check again

You can hear the central locking activating in most modern cars. The sound it makes is normally a heavy-sounding clunk or click. So stay close and listen as you press the remote button to lock your car, and make sure you hear the central locking activate. Many modern cars also feature a visual signal, in the form of flashing indicators. If yours is set up like this, make sure those indicators do indeed flash too. 

If you don't get either of these aural or visual signals , it could be a sign that the fob isn’t working properly. That might mean your locking isn't activating when it should, leaving your car unlocked and unprotected; if you have an alarm fitted, the likelihood is this won't be activated either. 

But the cause could be something more sinister. Security experts believe that some thieves use remote locking jammers to target cars – preventing the signal from your fob from reaching the car, and ensuring it stays unlocked so that they can steal whatever’s inside.

If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, it doesn’t hurt to double check the car’s locked. A good way to do this is to pull the door handle before you walk away.

However, if yours is a car that features a keyless entry system, which unlocks the car for you automatically when you pull the door handle, this might simply re-open the car. In this case, the best way to verify that the car is locked is to look through the windows to check the internal locking mechanism. 

This can take the form of pins on the top of the internal door panels which drop down when the car is locked, or catches on the internal handle which flip inwards toward the door. On some cars, the handles themselves move inwards when it's in the locked position. 

So if you've got a keyless entry system fitted to your car, get to know how your internal catches work, and check them through the windows before walking away. 

Car thief blocking door lock signal
Some thieves use remote jammers that can stop you locking your car

But checking your central locking is working correctly isn't the only thing you can do to help stop thieves from stealing your valuables, or indeed, the car itself. Here are a few more top tips worth thinking about.

Park in the right place

You’re obviously going to feel nervous about leaving your car in a dodgy-looking area, but car crime can be a problem in the nicest parts of town.

Wherever you park your car, do your best to find somewhere that’s well lit. If you have the option to park under a street lamp, do so, even during the day - if your car’s left there longer than you’re expecting, it’ll be lit when darkness falls.

If you’re parking on your driveway or in a car park, make sure you park as close as possible to your home or another occupied building. And if you’re in a restaurant or pub, try and park where there’s a view of your car from inside. Even if you’re not able to get a seat by a window, someone else might notice something untoward going on.

At the shops, meanwhile, try to park close to the main entrance and in amongst other cars – thieves are more likely to strike a car that’s on its own at the end of a car park than one that’s mixed in with all the rest, where other shoppers are regularly walking past.

Hide your belongings

Sounds like an obvious one, doesn’t it? But you’d be amazed how many people don’t bother. Satnav systems are the most obvious trinkets that get left on display, but mobile phones, wallets and cash are also theft magnets.

You should take these items with you if you can, but if you can't, make sure they're stashed well out of sight of prying eyes. Use your car's glovebox or boot, or if it's fitted with one, the lidded storage compartment in the central console. 

Don’t just think in terms of valuables, either. Bags, coats, and even jumpers are all attractive to a thief, even if they aren’t worth much, because of the possibility that they might conceal something that is, so don’t leave them in view on the seats.

Also be aware of leaving important paperwork on view, so that it isn’t targeted for the purposes of identity theft.

Thief stealing bag from car
You should never leave anything on display CREDIT: Rex Features

Add to your security equipment

If you drive a modern car, the chances are it comes with an alarm and an immobiliser. But there are plenty of other ways to protect your pride and joy. Steering wheel locks, which fit over your steering wheel and hold them in place so that a thief can’t steer properly, aren’t infallible, but they do provide a deterrent for opportunistic thieves. Locks that do the same job for your gearstick or your pedals are also available.

Or if you’ve got a little more money to spend, why not consider a tracking device? You’ll pay upfront for the device to be installed and then pay a small annual subscription fee, but if your car is stolen, the police will be able to locate it.

You might also want to consider upgrading the security for your drive or parking space. Buying a small home CCTV system needn’t cost the earth, and it could help catch anyone who does try to steal your car. Or if you’d rather have something cheaper, a motion-activated home security lamp that shines down on your driveway could help put thieves off.

Use the security features your car already has

Modern cars are full of clever security features, but you might not use – or even be aware of – all of them. For instance, did you know that many modern cars have systems which enable them to lock automatically as you pull away? Enabling these systems will help protect you against car-jackings – surely one of the scariest possible ways of having your car stolen.

What’s more, some modern cars have lights that will stay on for a set time – usually 30 seconds – after you’ve left them. These systems are great for getting you to your door safely and ensuring someone isn’t lurking in the shadows. Check your user manual to see whether you have such a system fitted to your car and to find out how to activate it.

Mercedes headlights
Some headlights stay on for long enough to get you to your door

Think about where you keep your keys

Car security systems have advanced so far now that the easiest way for a thief to steal the car is often to steal the keys themselves. This can mean picking them from your pocket, or even stealing them from your house.

So think about which pocket you’re keeping your keys in when you’re out and about. And when you’re at home, make sure you don’t leave your keys near to an open window, or even within reach of the letterbox. Some nefarious criminals have taken to ‘fishing’ through the letterbox for keys using a hooked length of wire.

But don’t take your keys upstairs to bed with you. We’ve heard of an increasing number of cases in which criminals have broken in and threatened car owners when they haven’t found the keys they wanted downstairs. Better, we think, to have the car stolen than to have your family put at risk by robbers.

Keep an eye on your number plates

Have you ever come out to your car to find its number plates missing? It’s more than just a minor inconvenience if it does happen to you – you should report it to the police immediately.

Some criminals are stealing car number plates and then fitting them to their own similar-looking cars to perform crimes, such as filling up with fuel at a petrol station and driving off without paying. They know the police will check CCTV footage and come and talk to you about a crime you had nothing to do with. So if you spot your number plates are missing, it’s essential that you report it.

Don’t leave your car running unattended

It might seem like you’ll be away from the car for such a short time that it’s not worth turning the engine off – perhaps you’re just popping into a shop, or are dashing into the house to pick up something you left behind. But an opportunist thief only needs a couple of seconds to have your pride and joy away.

The same goes if you’re de-icing your car on a cold winter morning – some thieves won’t think twice about running you down as they jump into the driver’s seat and speed off.

And if your car’s stolen while it’s been left running like this, your insurance will be invalidated – so not only will you go through the hassle and stress of losing your car, but you won’t get any payout.

And if the worst happens...

...and your car is stolen, get a friend or a relative to drive you around the local area. Check down side streets, in public car parks and look for areas where thieves might like to hide a car.

The "pinch and park" trend means that thieves may resort to stealing a car by burgling the keys, and then parking it somewhere nearby for a short period. The reason they do this is to check the car hasn't got a tracking device. If it's still there after a couple of weeks, the chances are it hasn't - so the thieves can safely return to collect the car without the risk of a tracking device leading the police straight to them.

Obviously, report your find to the police and don't enter the car, as there may be forensic or other evidence inside that might lead to the villains being apprehended.

Top ten car models most frequently stolen (2020)

1. Range Rover Sport 

2. Range Rover Vogue 

3. Range Rover Autobiography 

4. BMW X5 

5. Land Rover Discovery

6. BMW 3-Series 

7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 

8. Range Rover Evoque 

9. BMW M3 

10. Land Rover Defender 

Figures from confused.com

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Blimey didn't that reporter have anything else to do that day except state the bleedin obvious? The only interesting part of that spread, to me anyway,  was the top ten list at its end.

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54 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Blimey didn't that reporter have anything else to do that day except state the bleedin obvious? The only interesting part of that spread, to me anyway,  was the top ten list at its end.

Vlad many things are obvious to those that know and do. There was much to remind one about and to inform others.

It is obvious to some, but not to others that "An owners Handbook" can be an extremely useful source of information.

Anyway thanks for reading the entire article rather than merely jumping to the list at the end.👍

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Yeah I see your point John. Personally I didn't find the article interesting But yes it could be a useful reminder to others. Anyway I had nowt else to do but read the whole article lol.

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9 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Yeah I see your point John. Personally I didn't find the article interesting But yes it could be a useful reminder to others. Anyway I had nowt else to do but read the whole article lol.

An honest reply as usual Vlad.👍

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11 hours ago, NemesisUK said:

Steer clear of purchasing a Range Rover ...😉

I'm surprised there are so many Range and Land Rovers on the list; I would have thought it would be difficult to find enough that will start and actually drive away 😉 

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Yeah a nice post John as you say common sense but a polite reminder doesn't go amiss. 

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I wonder how many RR owners will shout "Hooray, its gone! come and have a look dear, its finally gone!

My personal worst fear would be thieves entering the house. In the end its only a car so if they really want it take it. My BMW was stolen some years ago. I walked towards the car in the morning and i noticed a car parked next to it with a guy sitting in it. As we live in a very quiet neighbourhood this was strange. Never saw him before. Next morning my car was gone. I am convinced he was reading my key with an infrared scanner when i opened it up.

Glad he didnt enter the house looking for the key though!

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6 hours ago, dutchie01 said:

My personal worst fear would be thieves entering the house.

To be fair this is problem which only exists in UK. In most other countries where proper self-defence is premitted this would be expectioanlly rare, but in UK seems to be quite common relativelly speaking.

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23 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

I'm surprised there are so many Range and Land Rovers on the list; I would have thought it would be difficult to find enough that will start and actually drive away 😉 

Or track the thieves down just to get advice on how they got it to start 😉

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9 hours ago, dutchie01 said:

I wonder how many RR owners will shout "Hooray, its gone! come and have a look dear, its finally gone!

My personal worst fear would be thieves entering the house. In the end its only a car so if they really want it take it. My BMW was stolen some years ago. I walked towards the car in the morning and i noticed a car parked next to it with a guy sitting in it. As we live in a very quiet neighbourhood this was strange. Never saw him before. Next morning my car was gone. I am convinced he was reading my key with an infrared scanner when i opened it up.

Glad he didnt enter the house looking for the key though!

Indeed back in the day they would sneak through the unlocked back or side door and simply take your keys. I recall this guy who had just bought a brand new Mitsubishi EVO 8 in red. 

The first call was that there was a sports car that had collided with a lamp post on a notorious estate. The second call was from the owner 3 miles away saying his new car had vanished, the 3rd call was that someone had set said stolen car on fire. All happened within minutes.   

3 hours ago, Linas.P said:

To be fair this is problem which only exists in UK. In most other countries where proper self-defence is premitted this would be expectioanlly rare, but in UK seems to be quite common relativelly speaking.

Disagree. You can use reasonable force in the UK to prevent Burglary theft or criminal damage. If someone broke into your house, short of killing them you'd be justified in your actions as long as you felt it was reasonable and that includes grabbing anything to hand to complete the task.  Shooting them as they legged it down the garden path might not pass that threshold test however and that was probably our most famous case. 

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15 hours ago, Linas.P said:

To be fair this is problem which only exists in UK. In most other countries where proper self-defence is premitted this would be expectioanlly rare, but in UK seems to be quite common relativelly speaking.

Pardon my French but bollocks.

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2 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

I would not agree either Richie.😉

What is " proper self defence" ?  Kill them with fire? Chainsaw maybe? Axe? Or like in the states grab one of your 20 guns and pump the intruder full of lead like in the movies?  Think i will call the police myself and stay upstairs..

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10 hours ago, dutchie01 said:

What is " proper self defence" ?  Kill them with fire? Chainsaw maybe? Axe? Or like in the states grab one of your 20 guns and pump the intruder full of lead like in the movies?  Think i will call the police myself and stay upstairs..

Amurica have their own issues and I don't agree with some of their gun laws (nor habits of owning arsenal sufficient to equip small army), but to have a right to own gun for self-defence and to shoot intruded at your home seems like logical idea. You will be surprised to learn that there are actually far more countries that allows guns for self-defence (and especially at your own home) than not. UK and Ireland is in minority with overly strict laws - gun law here is comparable to countries like Belarus, China and North Korea (dictatorships), not exactly fitting place for UK.


Now I certainly see no issue with shooting intruders dead if they decided to invade one’s home, but when I said "self-defence" I actually didn't even mean guns. In UK even if you take knife and stab them, as it happened to this poor pensioner (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43639183), you may be charged with murder, which is absurd!


The key issue why I don't consider UK "self-defence" to be proper, is what is called "reasonable force" which is most absurd thing ever. In nutshell it means that you can only use "proportionate" force to level of threat. Now that would seem fine at first, but once you start looking at all the caveats it becomes absurd very quickly. In practice it means you can't attack or injure burglar if they are not attacking you and simply want to take your belonging. From law perspective their crime of stealing your stuff is lesser crime than you breaking their arm or stabbing them. Even kicking of punching them could be unreasonable! So the only thing you can do is to push them back and hope they won't fall over and injure themselves. Are their criminals or babies?!


As for my statement it being UK specific problem, sure there are countries far worse than UK e.g. South Africa or Russia, but in general such type of crime - i.e. breaking into home to get car keys when it is occupied is extremely rare. Fair to say even in UK compared to other types of car theft it is not common, but in comparable developed European countries it is so rare in fact that I can't find any statistics of that ever happening. This is simply because most countries have far more sensible self-defence laws and the risk of going into occupied home for car keys just does not worth the reward as such thieves always prefers not getting into contact with owners at any cost.


Finally, what "proper self-defence" means - in my opinion that would be allowing people to defend themselves and their belonging at any means necessary, including killing, rather than proving whatever "reasonable force" means. Sure if thief is running away and you catch them two block away this isn't self-defence, but as long as they are in your home and refuse to leave, there should be no limits on what you can do to force them out. Should you be able to take axe, golf club or baseball bat and use it if thief refuses to leave - absolutelly!

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On 7/18/2021 at 8:27 PM, hockeyedwards said:

Or track the thieves down just to get advice on how they got it to start 😉

At least you know that the thieves won't go far!

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