CLASSIC CARS TAR­GETED IN THEFT WAVE

Wor­ry­ing new data shows that thieves are tar­get­ing older cars val­ued at less than £5k – be­cause they’re seen as ‘easy tar­gets’

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

Crim­i­nals across the UK are specif­i­cally tar­get­ing af­ford­able clas­sics be­cause they’e easy tar­gets. Ac­cord­ing to newly re­leased sta­tis­tics, 32 per cent of cars re­cov­ered by Tracker were val­ued be­low £5000, break­ing the myth that crim­i­nals are more in­ter­ested in premium mod­ern cars. Andy Barrs, head of po­lice li­ai­son at Tracker and a for­mer chief su­per­in­ten­dent for South York­shire Po­lice, con­firmed that thieves are specif­i­cally tar­get­ing clas­sics. The true fig­ures could be even higher as cur­rent data is only based on ve­hi­cles that have been fit­ted with a tracker. The main rea­son for the rise in older cars be­ing tar­geted is be­ing at­trib­uted to peo­ple not pro­tect­ing their cars prop­erly.

‘Don’t leave clues as to where you live with the im­ages you put on­line’

Crim­i­nals across the UK are specif­i­cally tar­get­ing af­ford­able clas­sics val­ued at less than £5000 be­cause they’re an easy tar­get.

Ac­cord­ing to freshly re­leased sta­tis­tics 32 per cent of re­cov­ered cars by Tracker were val­ued at less than £5000, shat­ter­ing the myth that crim­i­nals are more in­ter­ested in premium mod­ern cars.

Andy Barrs, head of po­lice li­ai­son at track­ing com­pany Tracker and a for­mer chief su­per­in­ten­dent for South York­shire Po­lice, con­firmed that thieves are in­creas­ingly tar­get­ing classic cars and the true fig­ures could be even higher as cur­rent data is only based on ve­hi­cles that have been fit­ted with a tracker.

Barrs says that Tracker has seen thieves be­com­ing par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in cars such as the Ford Es­cort, Ford Capri and Land Rover De­fender, not to men­tion older E30 BMW 3 Se­ries.

Thieves are still keep­ing an eye on valu­able clas­sics but are also closely watch­ing the mar­ket as a whole in a bid toto sin­gle out clas­sics that might be­come valu­able in the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to Barrs.

He says: ‘ We are see­ing classic cars specif­i­cally tar­geted all the time for cut and shut jobs, sell­ing off parts or sell­ing them abroad.

‘Clas­sics are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble due to hav­ing VINs that are easy to iden­tify and grind away. A lot of im­mo­bilis­ers are prim­i­tive and even on a mod­ern car, thieves can eas­ily by­pass them.’

Barrs ad­vised own­ers to be care­ful with what in­for­ma­tion is given on­line in ad­verts or on so­cial media in the back­ground of pictures.

He adds: ‘Don’t leave any clues as to where you live with the im­ages

ANDY BARRS, TRACKER

you put on­line. Car thieves are get­ting good at find­ing out where you live based on de­tails in the back­ground.

‘ You should also watch out for thieves pre­tend­ing to be an in­ter­ested buyer by com­ing to have a look at the car in per­son and then in­form­ing his gang who come back later to steal the car.’

Classic car own­ers are urged to put as many phys­i­cal bar­ri­ers as pos­si­ble in thieves’ way if they don’t have ac­cess to a se­cure garage in which to store their ve­hi­cles.

Barrs says: ‘ You can de­ter crim­i­nals with a locked gate, or tem­po­rary pop-up bar­ri­ers. Steer­ing locks can put some thieves off but there are laser cut­ters avail­able now that will go straight through them silently.

‘The other op­tion is to dis­con­nect the bat­tery or re­move the wheels when your classic is off the road in the win­ter months.

‘Ul­ti­mately though, if a thief has de­cided that they’re go­ing to nick your car, they’re go­ing to nick it.’

The Ford Capri is one of the most pop­u­lar classic among car thieves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.