Tag Archive | "car theft"

Car Cloning Is A Crime

Rather like Dolly the cyber-sheep, some things are not always as they appear. The advances in car security have meant that the criminal fraternity have become even more devious when it comes to ripping off motorists and one of their favourite tricks is the cloned car.

This is where the details of one perfectly legitimate car are used to mask the true identity of a similar stolen vehicle. Crooks like to lull potential buyers into a false sense of security with a nice clean vehicle at a bargain price, but, as we always say, if it looks to good to be true etc, etc.

It’s a case of buyer beware. If a car that you buy proves to be stolen then it will be returned to its rightful owner and the duped buyer will be out of pocket to the tune of a lot. The trouble is, a professionally cloned car can be hard to spot. Often, the only clue is some minor discrepancy on the paperwork.

The solution is to be thorough. The assorted paperwork offers a history of a car. Try to check that all the VIN and chassis numbers match up. It’s always a good idea to take someone with you as a dispassionate pair of eyes may well spot something dodgy. When you buy a vehicle always check to see that you are viewing it at the address shown on the documents. This will probably not be the car park of a dubious looking pub.

Check pricing. If the offer price is around seventy percent of the trade / private sale price then walk away. There are plenty of magazines that show this sort of information. Try not to pay with cash – a seller who will accept payment through the banks is more likely to be honest; although this may not necessarily be so. Of course it is always possible that the documents you see may also be stolen and doctored.

For true peace of mind it is a good idea to have an official vehicle check. There are plenty of companies that offer this service, gleaning their information from official sources. Remember though, you get what you pay for. The cheap deals certainly give you an honest report as to whether or not the car is stolen or has been in an accident but do they check for outstanding finance, for example?

The more expensive companies ensure that all the facts are verified. Some even offer a guarantee in the form of financial recompense should their info be wrong. Certainly it is more costly, especially if you are viewing more than one car but at least it helps to ensure that your efforts not to be duped are backed up with additional security. If you are not sure of the deal – don’t do it.

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Sensible Auto Security

Recently, an internationally renowned footballer was letting his prized 4×4 Chevrolet Captiva Estate tick-over on his driveway to de-frost the windscreen while he went back indoors. It almost goes without saying that somebody nicked it. It doesn’t do a lot for the general opinion of footballer’s IQs does it? The basic problem is that people never think it will happen to them.

It is called ‘frost-jacking’ and occurs with alarming frequency when owners do exactly as described above. It is opportunistic theft; a plague that is born out of the increased vehicle security built in to modern cars. Far easier to steal a car with the keys in it and engine helpfully ticking over. This sort of car crime has been well reported yet remains on the rise, especially during cold weather.

Expensive automobiles these days, thanks to rising insurance costs, often come with trackers fitted – indeed, it is doubtful that many insurers would touch a supercar that didn’t have one. They are certainly a great addition but are very expensive to fit. If such a car is stolen then the trackers follow its progress instantly whilst informing the boys in blue. It works, but, if the keys are left in it, the trackers can only know once the owner tells them, causing possibly expensive delays.

For most of us though, trackers are out of the question so it becomes crucial to make sure that all the security boxes are ticked every time the car is parked or used. The rules are simple but effective and prevent the sort of off-the-cuff thievery that can otherwise occur.

So, whatever you’re doing, be it de-frosting or just popping into the newsagents for a paper, don’t – ever – leave the keys in the ignition with or without leaving the engine ticking over. Always lock it and leave it. Do remember to make sure all shopping and valuables are out of sight. The alternative could at the very least be a smashed window. The same goes for all the mobile technology we use now.

One of the stranger things that people do is to carry spare keys in the car. Exactly what purpose does that serve? For a start they aren’t much good to you if the primary keys are lost – you’re still locked out. Also it might give the thief the chance to access your property keys; that way they can use your car to drive to your house and burgle it. It’s easy to find out where someone lives, especially – and this has actually happened more than once – when the owners leave their car documents in the glove box as well. The miscreants must have thought it was Christmas.

If you have a garage use it and, indoors, don’t leave keys on display. We are all too fond of dropping them on the hall table when we come in. Stealing other people’s property is an unpleasant act. Why help the scum that do it have their way?

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