Car thieves have no vacation. They work throughout the year, and December is a special month for them. Christmas season creates favourable conditions for distraction and a lack of alertness of drivers, making it easier to steal from them. According to statistics, cars disappear the most often in December, when there is the pre-Christmas rush in shops, and parking lots at shopping malls are full. Thieves like this period more than others, because at that time people are less cautious. According to the data of Gannet Guard Systems, December notifications about car thefts consist from 15 to 16 percent of all received throughout the year. According to Mirosław Marianowski, a representative of the company, this is, among others, due to the fact that during this period expenses of the thieves themselves rise. – People involved in the theft of cars also have families. Increased interest in the illegal practice does not apply to pickpockets, who are the most active criminal group before Christmas. Car thieves are also trying to get as much cash as possible. It should be noted, however, that the world of a car theft has its own rules and nothing there happens by accident. Most of the actions are carefully planned and criminals do not steal vehicles for themselves – explains Miroslaw Marianowski from Gannet Guard Systems. The police warn that car thieves follow and watch car owners and it happens that they steal car keys from coats and jackets in shops and restaurants. Therefore, you should constantly keep an eye on your cars keys and documents and always have them with you.
A theft can be hindered
Every single car can be stolen. A car owner can only hamper the work of a thief. In order to protect yourself from auto theft, it is worth to use commercially available anti-theft securities. Any non – serial solutions lengthen the time needed to start a car and drive it off. A steering wheel lock or a gear lock can be broken through, but it takes several valuable seconds to do so.
In 2014, 14124 vehicles fell prey to thieves in Poland. It is about 9 percent less than a year earlier, which does not change the fact that every 37 minutes someone says goodbye to their car. Usually forever, because every fourth of them is recovered.
Mechanical and electronic car securities
– Mechanical securities are out of date. Electronic, but factory protections are worked out by thieves. It is better to put on the after-market solutions, because in their case, thieves have the most work, and in case of problems, they rather give up a theft than devote more time on it risking being caught – explains Paweł Ślubowski from hadron.pl.
Ranking of automobile anti – theft securities:
- Steering wheel lock
Inexpensive, but also the least effective method. Thieves most often pull it off by cutting a steering wheel or removing it with a strong kick – they do not bother cutting the unit itself or disarming its lock.
- Pedal lock
Its removal takes some time, but it is considered a relic – like a steering wheel lock
- Gear level lock
Depending on the evolution of a given model, it takes a thief to remove the lock from tens of seconds to over a minute. It may deter thieves – amateurs, but not professionals. The more that even without getting rid of the lock, after depressing the clutch pedal, a car can be rolled – over to a place that is safer for a thief and then towed away.
- Factory alarms and immobilisers
Car manufacturers are trying to protect cars against attempts of thieves. A British Company – Thatcham – is even preparing a report showing models that are the best prepared to encounter the amateurs of someone else’s property. However, as it happens, criminal gangs work out factory solutions of specific brands in the first place, with the result that their usefulness – although indisputable – is not the highest.
- Electronic aftermarket protections
Engine start locks work much better than alarms. From the anti-theft protection point of view, a secondary issue in their case is the user authentication method (e.g. pressing specific buttons in a proper sequence or using a remote identifier). What matters is the effectiveness of the lock. In the case of cars with petrol engines, interference usually affects the fuel system, in cars with Diesel units and working on LPG – the ignition system, and in vehicles with automatic gearbox – a starter.
- Alarm with the alert function
These are solutions using GPS & GSM modules, whereby, in the event of detection of intrusion or movement of a vehicle, a user is notified via SMS or phone call. In addition to it, they send location data of a car, making it possible to track it.
- GPS monitoring system
Product and service all in one. After installing a GPS and GSM module in a car, its position can be monitored continuously (with proper intervals) or on demand. The monitoring system is not any anti-theft protection in the literal sense of the word, but has a fully supporting role in the recovery of a car. A company supporting it, after receiving information about the theft, calls on its services and tracks a car in cooperation with the police. A disadvantage of the solutions based on GPS/GSM is the increasing use by thieves of the jammers of signals, activation of which results in blinding the system.
- Radio monitoring system
Thanks to the insensitivity to the work of jammers commonly used by thieves, it is characterized by high efficiency in finding stolen cars. It allows locating them even if they are hidden in underground garages.
Police officers from the Warsaw Department to Combat Vehicle Crime note, in turn, that in the era of reigning electronics, the systems of radio monitoring have the highest efficiency. However, the point is not that they prevent theft. The thing is that they help recover vehicles that have fallen prey to thieves.
– Devices installed in cars allow you to track down stolen vehicles. Advanced technology combined with fast response allows for efficient recovery of vehicles – says Dominika Włodarczyk, Key Account Manager at Gannet Guard Systems, pointing out that thieves are increasingly using various types of the jammers of GPS signals. Therefore, solutions based on radio communication are more efficient than monitoring tools, which only use the satellite systems.
Representatives of the companies involved in the installation of the radio monitoring system ensure that 95 per cent of vehicles that fall prey to thieves are tracked down within 24 hours.