Help protect yourself against vehicle crime:
- De-frosting you Vehicle – Never leave your vehicle unattended, insecure and engine running.
- Doors and Windows - Always make sure that doors are locked, and windows and sun-roof are shut when leaving the vehicle.
- Keep your valuables and possessions safe and out of sight - Do not leave any belongings on display, even items of low or little monetary value.
- Coats and Clothing - These are frequently left on view in the back seat of cars. They are popular with thieves, not only for their resale value, but because the pockets may contain valuable items such as money or keys.
- Electronic Items and Jewellery - A potential treasure trove awaits a car criminal who sees items such as cameras, video cameras, watches and even jewellery left on view inside a car. A smashed window, a few seconds and they are away with your property. Always take your property with you.
- Laptop Computers - Never leave your laptop in your car. These have a high resale value for car criminals who will be more than happy to steal them if they are left on view.
- Car Stereos/iPods - Car stereos are easily removed from cars and can be sold on quickly. Always take the detachable control panel with you when you leave your vehicle. If there is a PIN security code number with the audio equipment ensure it has been activated. Never keep the PIN with the stereo or with the user manual in the car and make a note of the stereo serial number. The use of iPods in cars, as an alternative to car stereos, has greatly increased. Always remember to remove both iPod and cradle when leaving the car.
- CDs - CDs left on view in a vehicle are music to car criminals ears who will steal them to sell on. Never have large numbers of CDs in your vehicle and always keep them out of sight.
- Wallets, Purses and Credit Cards - These are attractive to car thieves as they are the gateway to untold riches. Always take your money / wallet / purse with you, do not hide inside the car. The first two places a car thief will look on breaking into a car are within the glove box or under the seat.
- Mobile Phones - Mobile phones have a high resale value for the car criminal; they are easy to carry and sell on. If stolen it means inconvenience for the owner as the loss of business and personal contact numbers means no one will be able to contact you. It may also take time to replace your phone and re-establish the contacts.
- Car Keys - Keep your car keys safe at all times – Always remove keys from the ignition and lock all doors when leaving the vehicle. It only takes a thief a few seconds to jump into your car and drive away. At home, keep your car keys in a safe place which is out of sight and away from windows and doors.
- Security Devices - Many newer cars will already be fitted with an immobiliser and/or car alarm, if not consider having one professionally fitted. Car alarms should conform to the BS 6803 standard. Electronic immobilisers, which prevent the car from starting, or mechanical immobilisers such as steering wheel locks, will also deter car thieves. Steering wheel locks are in-expensive and available from most car accessories stores. To prevent tyre theft fit wheel nuts, they are inexpensive and easy to install.
- Security Marking - Consider marking all your valuables with a unique identification number such as your postcode. Also consider having your car’s registration number or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all glass surfaces, including headlamps. These numbers can be linked to recognised security databases. Also, make a note of the car's chassis number.
- Parking - When parking in public streets and roads leave your car where it can be seen by others, not out of sight. Look for a car park that is well supervised. At night, avoid parking in areas with little or no lighting. Remember to tuck in wing mirrors and put the aerial down to discourage vandalism. If you have a garage try to park your car in it overnight. If you have a private driveway parking your car on it regularly, instead of a public road may reduce your car insurance premiums.
- Anti Theft Screws – Use anti theft screws protect you number plate from being taken.
If you would like further crime prevention advice, including how to obtain a protective marking solution such as SMART WATER and Anti Number Plate Theft Screws, please contact your local officer, PCSO Tristan Jelfs on 07795231857 or e-mail email@example.com (Henley in Arden, Claverdon, Wootton Wawen & Bearley areas); PCSO Garry Johnson or PCSO Laura Thomason on 07789653018 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (Studley, Sambourne & Mappleborough Green areas). PCSO David Martin on 07923288641 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (Earlswood, Tanworth & Ullenhall).