Theft from vehicle

Most offences of theft from vehicle are opportunist. If valuable possessions (eg handbags, laptops, sat navs, iPods, mobile phones, cameras) are left on show inside a vehicle, it is much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing.

 Display And You Will Pay

Video transcript

  • Display And You Will Pay video transcript

    Text on screen:

    Hundreds of cars have been broken into across the Wycombe District in the last year

    Listen to a convicted car thief tell you why...

    Words spoken by unnamed car thief

    I tried opening doors and if it was unlocked I just opened it and whatever I found I took pretty much. If the car door was unlocked then you could just open it, you have a look around, you see things and then you take them or not then you close the door and you leave it. It was just easy really because a lot of people leave their car doors unlocked and stuff. Some sunglasses and stuff like that.

    On the roads, people’s driveways and like car parks definitely lock your car doors to stop it being easy for people to burgle your things. Don’t leave anything on display. If I was you hide it all or take it with you into your home. Even loose change, Christmas presents, and anything like that. It was definitely easier at night-time because of like dark areas and stuff. So if you do like park somewhere without street lights make sure you lock your doors and don’t leave anything on display.

    Text on screen

    Trust locks, not luck - double-check your vehicle is secure.

    Keep keys safe - and out of sight.

    Perfect parking - If you have a garage, use it or park in a well lit location.

    Display and you'll pay - Don't tempt thieves - take your belongings with you.

    Be alarmed - This could deter thieves.

    Sat nav - Would you be lost without it? Remove it and make sure you wipe the sucker mark off the windscreen.

    Your number's up - Number plates can be easily removed. Secure them with security screws. Contact police if stolen.

    A Thames Valley Police poster states: Display and you will pay. Do not ignore. Warning. Your insurance premium could go up if your car, or one in your road, is broken into.

Theft from vehicle

Offences can take place during the day or night, whether a vehicle is parked in a driveway, on the street or in a public car park. Typically thieves will smash windows to gain entry. Sometimes they will break door locks or, on older vehicles, prise the door away from the body of the vehicle.

The following sections contain crime prevention and reduction advice for motorists and car park owners:

Parking in public

  • Look for public car parks approved by the Park Mark scheme. Car parks approved within the Park Mark scheme have been vetted by the police and have measures in place in order to create a safer environment for you and your vehicle.
  • To find your local Park Mark approved sites, please visit the Park Mark website (opens new window).
  • Alternatively park your car in an attended car park.
  • When leaving your car, please close all windows and lock your car.
  • Don't leave anything on display in your vehicle.
  • Take all your personal possessions with you.
  • Remove sat nav holders and visible sat nav ring marks from windscreens.

When parking at home

  • Where possible, secure your car overnight in your garage.
  • If you don't have a garage, park in a well-lit area.
  • When leaving your car, close all windows and lock your car.
  • Don't leave anything on display in your vehicle.
  • Take all your personal possessions with you.
  • Remove sat nav holders and visible sat nav ring marks from windscreens.
  • Leave the glove box open to show there's nothing inside.