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Thieves are still after your car radios

Motors | Published:

Radios, shopping bags and sat navs have been revealed as the top targets for thieves who break in to cars

Nearly one in five UK car owners have had their vehicles broken into – with radios the most stolen items, according to new figures.

But it’s not just radios that are being stolen, desperate thieves have also been found to take air fresheners, sweets and a snooker cue.

With 831,000 incidents of vehicle related crime reported in the UK last year, leasing company UK Carline asked 1,000 motorists to identify the most commonly stolen item.

Surprisingly in these hi-tech times, radios were the most stolen item, with 31 per cent of car crime victims having had one taken, followed by shopping bags (17 per cent) and sat navs (13 per cent).

Mobile phones were the thieves’ next most-sought-after item, followed by clothing and shoes, sunglasses, vehicle badges, wallets, wheels and number plates.

And despite high-profile police campaigns to deter motorists from keeping valuables in their car, the research showed 40 per cent of people still do, believing them to be safe if they aren’t on display.

The research also revealed it’s not just high-value items that thieves are after. Lucy Locket, aged 23, from Sheffield had her car windows smashed and just one trainer taken.

“It is really baffling as to why they only took one,” she said. “As a pair they would have sold for a decent amount, as they were specialist decathlon trainers. I can only assume they were interrupted mid break-in.”

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Commenting on the research, Jonathan Nolan, general manager at UK Carline, said: “As the research shows, it’s no longer just radios and sat navs that are being stolen from cars.

“An item that you might not consider risky to leave on display may be highly desirable to a thief that has spotted an opportunity, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and leave the bare minimum on display in your car.

“With thieves adapting their skills to compete with new car technologies, it’s clear that owners need to be more vigilant and careful with their belongings than ever before. It’s advisable to ensure your vehicle has the latest security features fitted, including an alarm and immobiliser, to make it harder for criminals to target your vehicle.”

By Martin Robertshaw

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