Tracking, Lost, Theft, GPS

70,000 vehicles were stolen in the UK last year.

As long as there have been vehicles, there has been vehicle theft. It is an unfortunate reality of the world and as time goes on it only seems to be getting more prevalent. You could easily be forgiven for assuming that increased investment in factory installed vehicle security systems would lead to the inevitable decline in vehicle thefts. This, however, is not the reality. As companies have begun to innovate so to have the criminals. Thieves employ a multitude of different techniques in a constant attempt to our-smart vehicle manufacturers and it appears, for the most part,  they are succeeding. In 2016 the number of vehicles stolen was estimated to be upwards of 70,000 a figure that does not take into account unreported thefts. This is an alarmingly high number but to truly appreciate the severity of the situation, perhaps a better way to look at this is the fact that this translates to nearly 1.3% of all registered vehicles on the road in the UK.

 

What makes vehicle crime so difficult to protect against is the variety of methods that can be employed by criminals. Standard alarm systems only offer a single instance of protection and fail to adequately prevent or protect against a theft that has developed beyond the initial entry of the vehicle. With the average vehicle theft taking only 180 seconds the protection offered by an alarm only has a brief window to remain effective. Once the vehicle is being transported the alarm will often be disabled or simply ignored.

With vehicle crime rising by upward of 9% a year. It has become increasingly important to ensure that you are protected with a sophisticated and comprehensive security solution. Criminals are not selective when it comes to theft. Whilst luxury car models may offer a higher monetary return they are often much more visible and higher risk targets, this can be seen by looking at the statistics for most common vehicles stolen in the UK. The Top-10 list includes cars from Range Rovers to Ford Focus’s. A large percentage of vehicles stolen in the UK are sold for parts. This is particularly effective as it protects the vehicle from being discovered and theft detected. This further reduces the likelihood of having a stolen vehicle returned, as unless prompt action is taken to ensure the criminal is apprehended, it soon becomes difficult if not impossible to track the vehicle.

 

We can see here just how non-selective criminals are in their theft. Even the most nefarious amongst understand reward and cost, this can partly be to blame for the consistent increase in vehicle crime. More vehicles on the road translates neatly to more opportunities for theft. Drivers must remain vigilant and be sure to not put themselves at more risk.

The UK is the EU leader in vehicle related crimes whilst this is difficult to attribute to any one specific cause, lackluster attitudes toward vehicle security can be at least partly to blame. Physical security measures like clamps and wheel locks are used much less frequently in the UK leading to more opportunities for theft.

A great example of how criminals are beginning to outsmart car manufacturers is through a technique known as “bag and burgle”.  This method targets more premium cars with smart-functionality and key-less locks. All one has to do to enter one of these vehicles is covertly place a signal extender and a code logger in the vicinity of the vehicle. When someone locks their car using a wireless key-fob, the code the vehicle uses to identify the key can be cloned and re-used to gain access to the vehicle.

What is perhaps more disturbing about this is that some modern cars are equipped with key-less start functionality. This enables the user to start the car simply by having the keys present. You can see the issue here. Criminals are able to access the car as if they had the keys without detection. You can read an article from Metro describing this technique and how it was used to steal a £60,000 BMW here.

We mentioned earlier that standard alarm systems fail to offer adequate protection against theft. By their design they are only able to remain effective in the initial instance of theft. At the point that the criminal attempts to enter the vehicle. Once the vehicle has been entered the alarm can be easily dis-activated. Alarms are also ineffective against more sophisticated methods of theft, such as the key-cloning we discussed earlier. Perhaps the biggest reasons alarms fail to prevent theft is the fact that they are often ignored. The constant drone of a forgotten car-alarm is synonymous with city life. It is something we are all guilty of and something that is unlikely to change. Alarms fail to do what they were invented for, – Alarming you.

How can I prevent theft?

The only security system that can offer sophisticated and comprehensive theft prevention is a monitored GPS Tracker. Traditional alarms are installed when the car is manufactured and as such quickly become antiquated and unable to adapt to new techniques employed by criminals. Our range of trackers are designed with theft-prevention in mind. Consistently improving and adapting to remain effective against current methods of theft. They come equipped with a plethora of anti-theft features such as Ignition recognition, GPS Tracking, 24/7 Monitored surveillance, Tamper detection, Movement detection, Key-Cards and much more.

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