herald

Monday 11 December 2017

One in seven drivers now victim of rising car crime

AROUND one in seven Dublin motorists have been victims of car crime in the last two years.

Thieves have either stolen their car, tried to steal it, or broke into their car -- often while they were at a family Christening or wedding, a new AA Roadwatch survey reveals.

Nationally, 10pc of motorists were targeted, but Dubliners, with 15pc of car owners affected, appear to be the major victims when it comes to car crime, the results suggest.

"It is clearly a major problem, and one that is on the rise," the AA's Conor Faughnan said.

"It means a big bill, and for those who do not have no-claims-discount protection, a rise in insurance costs."

With modern cars being fitted with complex immobilisers, a common tactic for thieves is to take keys off hall tables or key racks near the door, by poking a pole through the letterbox.

"The days of 'hot-wiring' cars are for the most part behind us," Mr Faughnan said.

"But tactics have changed. Thieves will now target car keys, and will sometimes break into a house to look for them."

"It is a mistake to leave them in an obvious place like a hall table," he said.

"It's very very frustrating for honest citizens to have their hard-earned property targeted by thieves in this way, but it happens and it is increasing, he added.

Burglars are also adept at opening doors secured with conventional slam-shut barrel locks, according to AARoadwatch.

Once in the house, they'll often find the keys left on a table or sideboard.

In an online poll carried out last week, with 6,500 responses nationwide, 3.7pc of motorists have either had their car stolen or have an attempt made to steal it in the last two years.

mlavery@herald.ie

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