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’
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.