Theft from and theft of motor vehicles – police advice

Derbyshire Constabulary has issued a warning message to car owners leading up to Christmas.

‘Opportunist thieves will break into a vehicle for almost anything. Lessen the chance of them targeting your car!

Electrical items are a favourite for these opportunist thieves but bags of clothing, Christmas presents and cash are also very popular. Try to keep your car interior tidy and clutter free with any valuables locked up and hidden away in the boot. Don’t hide them in the glove compartment, instead leave the glove box open and empty to show there is nothing there to steal. If you have to leave valuables in your boot, you can hid them further by adapting everyday items to hide them in, e.g. slit a tennis ball so you can hid very small items inside it. 

If you have a suction attached sat nav, remember to wipe off the circular suction mark where you stick it onto the windscreen. 

Think about where you are parking your vehicle and if you have to park on the street find one that is well lit. Try not to park in isolated areas, instead park where there are houses and likely to be more people about to spot suspicious activity.  

If parking on your driveway security can be greatly improved by fitting motion sensor lighting, and even better with CCTV.

Remember also even when you are at home and your car is on the driveway, don’t leave unnecessary items or valuables in there. Always park on your driveway facing your house or garage and away from the street, turn your wheel towards an object or wall and waggle the wheel to make sure the steering lock is engaged.

When you are inside your house, keep your keys hidden in your home and not in plain sight. Don’t keep them hung up near to external doors or windows where they could be easily ‘fished’ through the letter box or through a window. 

Keeping key less fobs away from windows and out of sight is  especially important. Organised criminals can find and amplify the wireless signal from a key fob left near to a window or door and relay it to the car.  By hacking the signal, it is possible to gain entry to the car  and sometimes even clone the key and drive off. Keeping key less key fobs in a tin can make it harder to hack the signal. When you go to bed take your car keys with you so that if you were to get broken into, the thieves aren’t going to be leaving in your car. Keep any spare sets of car keys well hidden.

And lastly, on these cold frosty morning, never start your car up and go back into the house whilst it defrosts.  Even for a split second, never leave the engine running and your car unattended. This is very risky as it does only take a split second for someone to jump in your car and drive off. Plus, if your car is taken this way, your insurance company is unlikely to pay out.’

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 570222 or email enquiry@ambervalley.gov.uk