Generally there are two types of car thieves, the opportunist and the professional.
Professional car thieves steal cars for money, are usually organised and work in teams.
A car stolen by a professional will generally be given a new identity and resold.
A car stolen by an opportunist will usually be taken as a means of transport or to be used to break another law.
These cars are usually recovered, but in a damaged state.
Take these eight steps to protect your vehicle:
1. Install an anti-theft device, such as an immobiliser, visible locking device, ignition shield or battery isolator.
There are many different types; an electric-coded jack plug; a coded touch key; a coded transponder tag; a remote transmitter device.
2. Lock it before you leave it!
3. Park your vehicle off the street, preferably in your driveway, garage or a staffed car park.
If parking on the street find a well-lit area and do not leave any valuables that can be seen.
If there is no other option, lock valuables in the boot or take them with you.
4. Do not leave your keys in the ignition and lock your car when paying for fuel.
5. Wipe away suction marks left by your GPS.
6. Don’t leave paperwork in the vehicle that can identify where you live as the thief could work out you are not at home.
Personal information could also be used to steal your identity.
7. Write your licence number on your key tag, not your personal address or registration number.
8. Don’t hide spare car keys anywhere in the vehicle.
If your vehicle is stolen contact police straight away.
They will require details including: Registration number and state where registered, vehicle make and type, year of make, colour, engine number, vin/chassis number, anti-theft device and insurance company.
When you report the theft police will seek your permission to have the vehicle towed in case it needs to be moved.
You can decline, however, most insurance companies will cover this cost.
You must also contact your insurance company as soon as you report the vehicle as stolen.
When you report your car stolen to police, they will immediately put a notation on the computer.
When your vehicle is checked for any reason, the police officer will know it is a stolen vehicle.
Once your vehicle has been found and you have collected it, you must immediately attend the nearest police station and notify the police that you have it.
The vehicle will be taken off the computer as being stolen.
You can then also report any items that have been stolen from inside the vehicle.
You should bring some form of identification with you to verify that you are the owner.
●For more information, phone car safe on 1300668410 or visit www.carsafe.com.au