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The Rising Threat of Motor Theft

Motor theft has become a growing problem for businesses in recent years. While the overall number of motor thefts in England and Wales has decreased since 2006, the estimated cost has risen dramatically to over £1 billion in 2021.

This is largely due to thieves targeting high-value vehicles like Range Rovers, which can be worth around £100,000. Organised criminals are using sophisticated techniques like key hacking to steal vehicles in seconds.

But it's not just whole vehicles being targeted - catalytic converter theft has also soared due to the precious metals inside. Rhodium in particular is extremely valuable, being worth over 17 times more than gold per ounce. Thieves can cut out a catalytic converter in minutes, leaving the vehicle undrivable and the business without a vital asset.

The consequences of motor theft go beyond just the financial loss. 72% of stolen vehicles are never recovered, while half of those that are recovered have been damaged. This leads to vehicle downtime and repair costs. Thefts can also undermine employee and customer confidence in site security.

Here are 5 ways that businesses can help prevent motor theft and reduce the risks:

  1. Invest in physical security like steering wheel locks, pedal locks and catalytic converter locks. These inexpensive devices substantially reduce the appeal of a vehicle to thieves.

  2. Deactivate keyless entry features and use key signal blocking pouches to stop remote key hacking.

  3. Remove valuables and tools from vehicles overnight to avoid opportunistic theft. Store them in secure areas if possible.

  4. Park vehicles in well-lit and highly visible areas, close to walls/fences. CCTV can also deter thieves. Use approved "Park Mark" car parks.

  5. Install Thatcham approved tracking systems, especially for high value vehicles. These systems increase the chance of recovery.

By taking the threat of motor theft seriously and investing in some deterrent measures, businesses can save themselves considerable time, money and disruption. The steps outlined about are a great way to start reducing the risks.


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