Is Car Crime On The Rise Again?

Not so long ago those of us in the Vehicle Security Industry thought that modern day immobilisers were almost infallible. With the haughty air of confidence available to all trades people everywhere, we were utterly convinced that a modern dual circuit immobiliser would prevent a vehicle from being driven away without a thief investing a great deal of time and effort into the procedure!

Alas, we were wrong! Twice wrong in fact. First came OBD theft. Modern thieves were able to relax in relative luxury needing to do no more than gain access to the inside of the vehicle and avail themselves of the OBD port. A few seconds later and voila, they were off and driving with (I would imagine) a smug feeling of superiority. Gaining access to the vehicle may have taken little bit more effort but not much. Jamming the remote signal to prevent the vehicle from locking, capturing the remote signal, or if you were a true Luddite, simply bashing in the window was about all you would have needed to do.

However, more recently, car thieves have upped their game, breaking windows is out; crouching in passenger footwells fiddling about while you hunt for the OBD port is no longer en vogue! Why bend, break or hang around when all you need is a fancy pants shiny new gadget available online to all self – respecting (no respect for anyone else mind) car thieves?

Yes, according to Sky News the latest must-have car thief accessory this year allows access to vehicles without the the thief even having to take a sip of their high-energy drink or remove his hoodie to see into the dark crevices while his mate holds the torch from the back of the iphone that he just got off of a bloke out the front of the local chippie. Of course that’s not to say that the iphone won’t come in useful, they will have to invest a bit of time in watching the online tutorials on how best to use their shiny new car theft gadget.

Basically, the device is capable of stealing and cloning vehicle keys without even opening the doors. What this means in real terms is that sophisticated (and I use that term loosely) thieves are able to make off with equally sophisticated (more accurate description this time) vehicles with a minimum of effort.

An article in the Mirror in March describes how a tracking system helped to foil a gang of international car thieves and recover a hoard of 25 vehicles from Uganda all stolen from affluent areas in the UK.

However, to be completely fair, you don’t need to be sophisticated, international or even part of a gang in order to use this technology which is, no doubt, a relief to most car thieves who probably couldn’t tick many of those boxes on a car-thief job application form! All they need is a device available online and access to Youtube (they don’t even need to read – phew for all car-thieves).

At Visual Telematics, we are constantly looking to improve our range and come up with better ways (one could even say more sophisticated ways) to protect our customers from car theft. We believe that prevention is always better than cure and, with that in mind, we would recommend a GPS Tracking System combined with an ADR Alarm if you really need to keep your vehicle safe.

Please give us a call to discuss your specific requirments or have a look at our website for more information. Our number is 020 3633 0950 or you can email me direct at


Autocar [] last accessed 21/07/16

IB Times [] last accessed 21/07/16

Sky News [] last accessed 21/07/16

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