Motor Vehicle Crime


Car Thieves in Profile:

There are four types of thieves committing motor vehicle crime.

The opportunist car thief. Frequently called a "joyrider", looks for vehicles to use as a means of temporary transport.

The professional car thief. This person intends to keep the car or sell it on, often in an altered state.

The secondary thief. This person does not steal the car for itself but for the specific purpose of committing other crime.

The property thief. This person does not want the car, just the property inside.

Vehicle Safety: Parking your car

  • Parking in quiet areas provides more opportunities and time for thieves.
  • Try to use car park buildings that are attended or have security or CCTV.
  • Choose well-illuminated and busy street if parking at night.
  • Park in areas with high foot and vehicle traffic.
  • At home the car should be locked in garage or parked in driveway under a sensor light.
  • Don't leave valuables in the vehicles overnight even if parked in driveway of home.

Vehicle Safety: Leaving your car unattended

  • Ensure items that could attract a criminal are not left on display.
  • Concealing items in the boot or under the seat is not a guarantee, they will look there.
  • Do not move goods from the car to the boot on arrival at your location, you maybe observed.
  • Do not leave keys in the ignition or conceal a spare in or on the car.
  • Remove keys even when refuelling at Service Station, thieves often target these areas.
  • Do not leave house keys in the car.
  • Ensure all doors are locked and windows closed, including sunroof if fitted.
  • Never leave important documents in the cars.
  • Never leave valuables in the car.
  • Avoid leaving documents in the car with your name or address on it.
  • Before leaving your car, check for any suspicious persons in the area.

Remember if it doesn't have to be in the car then don't leave it in the car.

Vehicle Safety: Deterrents in reducing risk

  • Have all the windows etched with reg number or chassis number.
  • Have vehicle fitted with an anti-theft device.
  • Have vehicle fitted with an alarm.
  • Mark the stereo system in your vehicle with the some sort of identifying number.
  • Warning stickers indicating if stereo has a coded security number.
  • Use any number of security measures such as micro dotting the engine bay.

Vehicle Safety: Security enhancement

The more time a criminal spends attempting to steal a vehicle increases the likelihood of discovery and apprehension. The following are some of the different types of security features available that can be fitted to your vehicle.

  • Ignition cut out switch.
  • Fuel cut out switch.
  • Battery isolator.
  • Steering wheel lock.
  • Hand brake lock.
  • Transmission lock.
  • Wheel lock.
  • Lockable fuel cap and wheel nuts.
  • Vehicle alarm system.

Purchasing a used motor vehicle

Care should be taken when purchasing a vehicle. If the vehicle you purchase is later discovered to be stolen the vehicle will be seized by police to be returned to the correct owner. So not only will you lose the vehicle but unless the person that sold you the vehicle can be located you will also lose the money you paid.

Following a few simple rules can reduce this risk:

  • Treat with caution any advertisement specifying a time to telephone. It's possible such a number maybe a phone box.
  • Go to where the vehicle is on sale rather than have the person bring the vehicle to you.
  • Look out for signs of casual car dealing or rebuilding, such as vehicle parts lying around.
  • Establish whether seller lives at the address the vehicle is at.
  • Check engine and chassis number for any interference.
  • Check number against registration papers.
  • If the seller does not have registration papers ask why.
  • Ask for photo identification from seller.
  • If registration papers aren't available, for a small fee the Post Office can supply the information.
  • Confirm the sellers title or ownership of the vehicle.
  • Complete Auto Check on 0800 909 777 for any outstanding financial interest.
  • If in doubt ring police to check the registration number.
  • Be wary of cash only sales.
  • Private sale does not give you the same protection as through a Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealer.

Remember if your car is stolen then report to police immediately.


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