Park Smart – Protect Your Vehicle

According to An Garda Síochána, 38% of vehicles broken into from 2015 - 2017 were left unlocked.

According to the figures released this week by An Garda Síochána, 8,571 vehicles parked at residential locations between 2015 and 2017 were broken into – and 2,824 of these vehicles were unlocked. 

Image credit: An Garda Síochána.

Let’s face it – a vehicle is one of the most valuable items you will ever own and having it broken into or stolen is the last thing you want to imagine; but we do need to think about precautions we can take to reduce the chance of this happening to us.

Sgt Kelvin Courtney from the Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence said, “Wherever you park your car or van, we would always advise you to take your property with you and ensure the vehicle is locked, alarmed and parked in a secure, well-lit location.

“Many of these thefts, particularly at residential locations, are avoidable with an average of 33% of vehicles being left unlocked in the last three years. Unfortunately, this poor practice has risen as 38% of vehicles were unlocked when they had property stolen from them in January 2018. We’ve even seen cases where two vehicles from the same household were unlocked and broken into.

“Sometimes it is impractical to remove tools and equipment from vehicles. In these cases, owners should take extra steps to ensure the safety of their property. Additional locking mechanisms to vehicles should be fitted. Consider a monitored vehicle alarm and tracking devices for valuable property. Reduce the payoff to the thief by marking and photographing the property and take a record of serial numbers, makes and models.  Download the household property register for free from the Garda Website for your records.” – excerpt taken from the Garda Website – Click here to read more on this.

According to the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, the vast majority of cars illegally entered or stolen from are done so using the vehicle’s key. The vast majority of vehicles stolen continue to be taken with keys obtained in burglaries.

Remember, vigilance is key in the prevention of theft. When you park your car, don’t leave any valuables inside, make sure it’s locked with the alarm on and parked in a well lit area that’s visible by the public. Also, never leave your car keys in a location that’s viewable from looking in the windows or reachable from the letter box.

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