If you live in Wombourne, you’ll know that there has been a spate of car thefts in Wombourne over the last year. So here’s some basic car safety tips on making it that bit harder for the thieves and to keep your car safe:

Don’t leave your car unattended when you defrost it

You should never leave your car running with the keys in the ignition. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 47% of motorists admitted to leaving their car unattended on frosty mornings to warm it up. Doing this will make your car an easy target for a thief. Also, insurers will probably not pay out if you’ve done this.

Don’t leave you valuables visible

Thieves will really only break into a car or van for two reasons, to steal the vehicle or to steal something inside it. Especially near Christmas time when you’ll probably have moments where presents are on the seats of the car while you dash around.

Just remember, it only takes a few seconds is all it takes to steal them. So keep all your valuables out of site. If you really need to leave items in your car’s back seat, put them on the floor and cover them with a towel or blanket to conceal them.

Is it really locked?

You can normally tell when your car is central locked by a beep or a clunk noise. If you don’t hear either of those then double check manually. It might be that your fob isn’t working, but will also mean your alarm won’t be activated.

However… some thieves are now using remote locking jammers to target cars. What these do is prevent the signal from your fob working and your car remains open. Then they simply get into your car. So if you’re ever unsure, just pull the handle before you walk away.

For a more detailed explanation of this, check this Guardian article.

Careful where you leave your keys

Because car security has improved to much, thieves are now more interested in stealing the keys from your pocket or your house. So make sure you keep them safe when you’re out and don’t leave them in easy to reach places in your home (like next to an open window).

Again, loads more useful advice in this Guardian article.

Theft from vans

South Staffs Police put out the following guidelines if you own a van:

  • When tools and equipment are not being used, ensure they are kept securely in a lockable store rather than in your vehicle.
  • Consider whether the storage area can be alarmed. If the equipment is portable, take it with you.
  • Don’t leave tools in vehicles unattended or overnight, and place a sign in the window stating they have been removed.
  • Visibly mark your machinery and tools using an engraving or chemical etching kit or use a forensic marking kit. Place a sticker in your window to say you have done so – the signage alone, can be a very effective deterrent.
  • Consider the use of security patrols around building sites.
  • Keep the access to building sites secure – fences and gates help prevent unauthorised entry.

More vehicle crime avoidance advice from the police can be found here.

If you have other useful tips to keep cars safe, post them in the comments below.