Shut it, Lock it, Check it!

Always ensure your windows and doors are shut and locked when leaving your vehicle unattended. Fuelling up or popping back into your house to get something are good examples of how easy it is to turn your back for a moment and forget that your vehicle is insecure. Try to get into the habit of locking your vehicle even if you’re only going to be away for a moment. Open windows invite criminals to fish for items through the gap or to unlock the doors. Don’t give thieves the opportunity.

Even when locked, vehicles can still be broken into quickly. Here are some tips to help to prevent you becoming a victim of theft from motor vehicle:

Vehicle Exterior

  • Secure your vehicle registration plates with tamper resistant screws. The 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 make it harder for thieves to use your plates.
  • Fit locking wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels. Stolen wheels are valuable, either as parts or for their scrap value. Using locaking wheel nuts reduces the risk of your vehicle’s wheels being stolen.
  • Secure anything on the outside of your vehicle. Anything left on roof-racks, bike racks or holiday top boxes are easily stolen when the vehicle is parke. Locking them makes them more secure, but still, don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it.

Vehicle Interior

  • Take valuables with you. Your 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.
  • Leave no clues as to what could be in your vehicle. Leaving 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 devices in your car. Even if they can’t see the Sat Nav of iPad they might still beak in to see if it’s stored in the car, out of sight.
  • Ensure nothing is on display. Even just leaving your old jacket on display, that you only use to walk the dog in, could cause a thief to break in to your vehicle. They may think the jacket is covering something valuable, or there may be valuable items in the pockets.

For more crime prevention advice, please visit the Cleveland Police website: www.cleveland.police.uk

Remember to always park in a well lit, overlooked area with as much surveillance as possible. When out and about in your car, try to park your car in a car park that has been accredited the Park Mark Safer Parking award. – www.parkmark.co.uk