Staveley Head

Staveley Head

April 22, 2010 09:58 ET

Burglars Target Car Keys In Homes-Are You At Risk?

FLINT, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 22, 2010) - Staveley Head, one of the UK's leading motor trade insurance providers, reported last year that there is a growing incidence of burglars stealing car ignition keys from inside homes in order to drive away cars parked on the driveway or held in unsecured garages. The cars are used to transport stolen goods from the house, or simply to be "ringed" and sold on with a different registration number and Identification Plate. If keys are left on a table or a wall mounted key rack in the hall, thieves will frequently "fish" the keys using a long hook- ended pole through the letter box of the front door.

These concerns have recently been confirmed by statistics revealed by the AA which suggest that every day at least 53 home-owners report that their cars have been stolen following the theft of car keys from their homes during the course of a burglary.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, stated in February in answer to a Parliamentary question that in 2008/9 over 1,600 cars a day were stolen in this fashion in England and Wales, a staggering 19% increase over the previous year, although there was a slight fall in the number of keys stolen from individuals.

A spokesman for Staveley Head said "Prestige cars such as Mercedes, Porsches and BMWs are most at risk although any car on view in a driveway is a likely target. The people perpetrating these robberies are professional thieves, not joy-riders, and know how to gain access to houses by exploiting their security weaknesses."

Simon Douglas, director of AA said "It's almost impossible to steal a modern car without first obtaining the keys. Although some cars are quickly recovered, particularly if they are fitted with a tracking device, many just disappear. It's believed they are either taken out of the country in freight containers or broken up for the lucrative overseas spares market."

Householders can reduce the risk of their car keys being stolen in several easy ways. Keep keys in a secure place and not in an obvious location in the home. Make sure house doors and windows are securely shut when you leave the house, and if possible fit a burglar alarm. Don't leave your car keys on display in public places or put them in a handbag which can also be easily stolen. A more costly solution is to fit a tracker system to your car, expensive but a worthwhile precaution if you drive a prestige car.

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