Please note: The content of this article is only to advise you. Should to wish to implement any advice, you do so at your own risk. Please ensure you follow the law at all times.

Use your garage

If you have a garage big enough to put your car in at home, be smart and use it. This will protect your car from a nights worth of severe weather, frosts and snowstorms and quite probably occasional damage from wheelie bins, neighbouring cars (bird droppings damage modern paints if left) and people walking past. The obvious point is that hiding your possessions out of view often prevents their theft. There is also the smug advantage of been able to  jump straight in to your dry, clean car and drive past all of the people scraping ice or mounds of snow off their motors on early winter mornings too.

Unattended Vehicle = NEVER!

NEVER leave your vehicle with the keys in or unattended if unlocked. We have heard of a local resident having his idling car driven off his drive at 7am, as he left it ‘defrosting’. This is a widespread problem across the UK. It also demonstrates the point that having something nearby does not ensure it is safe and thefts happen in an instant. It is wise to note that an insurance company may also class this as negligence and refuse to pay out! The thief may steal your car from a venue and also end up with your house keys on the same ring and your address from a document in the car!! What you may call DOUBLE TROUBLE, as it threatens your home security too!

Remember: ‘Unattended stationary idling of a vehicle on a public highway is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988″.  You can be given a fixed penalty fine.

Common sense should also apply to leaving the car on petrol forecourts. Don’t leave a window down or car doors unlocked. If you have a handbag, wallet, cash, bank cards or phone on show and you end stuck up in a queue behind a pensioner doing their weeks shopping in the petrol station’s shop, don’t be naive enough to expect it to still be there when you get back! You may have been lucky up to now, but we all know that luck always runs out. Modern key-fob remotes often lock from over 20ft away. Lights will flash to signal locking, so if you forget, try it from where you are. If not walk nearer, until it responds.

The Wheelie Bin Trick

A common trick for stealing desirable cars is to leave a wheelie bin across the owners drive entrance or gates, knowing they will carelessly hop out of the car to move it, without thought for it been a deliberate distraction. I also saw on Facebook a warning from a Coventry mother, (with child on board), who nearly stopped to move a large branch lying across her side of Coat Of Arms Bridge Road, until she became aware of a figure concealed in the hedge alongside. She decided she would rather hastily drive around the obstacle instead. We have all heard about cars stolen with children still strapped into the back seats.

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