Fleet News

Beware! Smash and grab season arrives

FLEET managers are being warned that car crime will soar after the clocks change this weekend.

Dark winter evenings provide the perfect cover for criminals who target company cars in smash and grab raids.

One of the UK’s largest leasing companies, Lloyds TSB autolease, found that body glass replacements, about 90% of which are caused by car crime, increased by 55% between October and November last year.

Its head of fleet management Marcus Puddy said: ‘When the clocks go back and it gets dark earlier, criminals use the twilight as an opportunity for theft.

‘Many people find that they don’t leave work until after dark, so criminals are free to target the large number of vehicles left unattended in unlit car parks. The majority of these crimes are simply opportunistic smash and grab attacks.’

The trend of soaring car crime continues throughout the remaining winter months, figures produced by the company show.

Between November and April, it made 73% more body glass replacements than during the lighter six months of the year between May to October. Company bosses say preventing car crime should feature high on the fleet manager’s agenda.

Puddy said: ‘There were more than 3.2 million attacks on cars in 2005 – that’s 369 every hour. With broken glass the second highest re-charge cost for our customers, we know there are huge savings to be made if effective action is taken.’

Security tips

  • Park in well lit and high visibility areas.
  • Make sure no valuables are left on display, such as laptops, mobiles and handbags.
  • Ensure that all the doors, boot and sunroof are locked, and windows are fully closed.
  • Activate the alarm and steering lock.
  • Never leave the keys in the ignition.
  • Remove your car stereo if at all possible.
  • Remove signs of portable satellite navigation systems, including the rubber seal mark on windscreens.

  • For further advice visit www.safermotoring.co.uk/cartheft.cfm
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