Breaking

There has been an increase in reports of Vehicle Crime across the Bracknell area

 Having your car broken into, tampered with and losing your things to thieves can be very distressing. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what’s in it, safe.1. Always lock fuelling up or popping back into your house to get something are perfect examples of how easy it is to turn your back for a moment and forget your vehicle is unsecured. Get into the habit of locking your vehicle even if you’re only going to be away from it for a moment and when it is parked on your driveway.2. Close windows and the sun roof to prevent ‘fishing leaving windows and the sunroof open invites fishing for items through the gap by hand or with, say, a bent coat hanger, which could also be used to unlock a door for them to get in. Thieves can be ingenious. Don’t give them the opportunity.3. Secure your number plates with tamper-resistant screwsThe easiest way to change the identity of a stolen vehicle or avoid speeding tickets and parking tickets is to fit stolen number plates. Using security screws to attach your vehicle’s number plates makes it harder for thieves to get your number.4. Fit locking, anti-tamper wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels stolen wheels are valuable, either as parts or for their scrap value. Using locking wheel nuts reduces the risk of your vehicle’s wheels being stolen. 5. Secure anything that’s on the outside of your vehicle anything left on roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure, but still, don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it.For further information and advice, visit Sold Secure. 6. Take it with you or hide itYour mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than that of what’s stolen. And it should go without saying that laptops, wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle. 7. Hide electrical items and leave no cluesLeaving Sat Nav mounts, suction cup marks on windows or cables on view gives it away that you have left a Sat Nav, smartphone or other device in your car. Even if they can’t see the Sat Nav or device they might still break in to see if it’s stored in the car, out of sight.8. Tool theft from vansVans are often targeted by thieves for the tools stored inside. If you have to leave tools in a van overnight, it’s a good idea to mark them clearly with your name / company name and address using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray. Alternatively, you can use a variety of other property marking systems. Items that are clearly marked are less desirable and more difficult to sell on.Consider using a lockable cabinet within your van to store tools – a number of security rated products are available. Small cameras are also designed to record inside vehicles. Visit Secured by Design for more details.You can also take photographs of items of value, make a note of the serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site.9. Park in well-lit and busier areasIt can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle. Parking in well-lit areas and busy streets increases the chances of a thief being seen.10. Take your documents with youHaving a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents could let a thief pretend to be the owner. Which means they could sell it on quite easily. So, never leave any documents in the vehicle.11. Choose your car park wiselyIf possible, always try to park in well-lit and staffed car parks.Catalytic converter theftThe precious metal in catalytic converters has led to an increase in their theft. To keep yours safe, ask your car dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer.Alternatively, try to make sure your vehicle is parked in a garage overnight, or if you have a commercial vehicle park it in a secure compound. If this isn’t possible, park in an area that’s well-lit and overlooked and try to park so that the convertor can’t be easily reached by potential thieves. Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable.You should also register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of. Visit Secured by Design for more details.Cars with keyless entry systems Keep your key fob away from windows and doors when at home.Turn off the key fobs wireless signal (check your vehicle manual to see if this is possible or contact your vehicle manufacturer)Use a signal-blocking pouch/case or a secure metal container to store your key fob. Consider the use of an on-board diagnostic port protective cover or lock.Use a steering wheel lock.If you have a garage, use it to secure your vehicle in. If you have a driveway, park the car as close to the house as possible.Please contact us if you have any information relating to vehicle crime in your neighbourhood.