Princess Beatrice's BMW Stolen

This week Princess Beatrice fell victim to car theft. The Royal's BMW was stolen after she popped into a shop, leaving the keys in the ignition. When she returned, the vehicle was gone. As the UK's leading stolen vehicle recovery systems specialist, TRACKER highlights the importance of keeping car keys safe from thieves.

"Princess Beatrice has fallen prey to one of the top five car crimes in the UK, but it could have easily been avoided," explains Stuart Chapman, TRACKER's Police Relationship Manager and a former senior Police Officer. "Modern vehicles can't be 'hot wired' in the way they have been in the past, so thieves need the keys. It is essential that car owners never leave their keys unattended and never leave them in the ignition with the engine running.

"Our data reveals that 75% of all stolen cars recovered by TRACKER in the last three months have been stolen as a result of key theft. It's easy to get distracted like Princess Beatrice did, but it only takes a moment for criminals to seize the opportunity. By leaving the keys in the car, owners won't be insured for the loss, making it a very costly mistake."

TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won't even know it's there. The tracking device works even if the vehicle is hidden in a container or taken abroad, offering car owners the ultimate in peace of mind should the worst happen.

Chapman concludes, "Nobody would leave the front door of their house wide open when they go out, but many people think nothing of jumping out of the car to post a letter or buy a newspaper. Don't make it easy for car thieves, look after your car keys and never leave them in the vehicle unattended. It only takes a minute to take the right precautions, but motorists will save themselves the anxiety and expense of being a victim of car theft."

TRACKER Reveals the Top Five Car Crimes

1. Burglary and theft of the car keys - Still a very popular means for stealing cars. Often where the keys are left out on hall table, kitchen worktop or hanging on hooks in the kitchen or hallway.

2. Leaving the vehicle with keys in and/or engine running - Examples - clearing ice or early visit to newsagent. Visits to the re-cycling point at the supermarket before / after shopping.

3. Identity theft - Criminals steal the identity of an owner, then use forged or stolen documents to obtain duplicate key.

4. Selling the car - Criminals ask to take a 'test drive' and drive off whilst owner is getting in or getting out of the car. Another ploy is making 'payment' with forged banker's draft.

5. Lifestyle criminals - This is where the criminals carry out surveillance on the car user and takes the best opportunity to steal the keys. Example car owner leaves keys in a bag or on table or in jacket pocket unattended in the pub.

9 January 2009 Staff

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