According to a recent survey, 43 per cent of drivers “don’t appear to think twice” about handing over their car keys at a garage, airport parking, car-wash, or at a hotel or restaurant. However, very few people would behave the same way with their house keys.
Also, at home, many drivers leave their car keys in clear view or on a table or a hook near the front door. This can be a temptation to thieves who can try to hook the keys on a pole pushed through the letterbox.
These days, car theft is much less of a problem than its peak of around 20 years ago, but there are still tens of thousands of cars stolen each year. Modern alarm systems have made it much more difficult for thieves to steal cars, but the thieves have also become more high tec.
All new cars sold in the UK have alarms and immobilisers and almost always there is double locking.
Security in most new cars uses radio messages transmitted between the key fob and the car – if criminals have access to both the key and the car they can copy the electronic access, and return at a later date to steal the compromised car. This is not always true as it depends how the signals work.
Police say one in four stolen cars are now stolen using electronic gadgets, which send a signal that stops owners locking their doors by remote.
At Home Theft
You may have seen on TV where criminals can use signal boosters to make your car think the car key is next to the car door and hence unlock. If your key is safely away from the front door of your home or better still in a safe metal box then this form of theft doesn’t work.
Avoid storing your keys by the front door – it may not be fail-safe but get into the habit of leaving your keys well away from your vehicle, such as at the back of the house or buy a safe bag or metal box to store the keys.
Look after your car keys or thieves may find a way to relive you of the car.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.