posted 3 years ago

Items Most Stolen From Vehicles Revealed By Crime Survey

Crime Survey For England And Wales Results 2011/2012

The Crime Survey For England And Wales has revealed that the most common items stolen from vehicles are “exterior fittings”. In 2011/2012, these components – that included windscreen wipers, registration plates, badges and trim – were therefore taken in thirty-seven percent of cases. Interestingly, however, this was four percent less than the previous year (2010/2011). Of all the exterior fitting to lose registration plates are the most significant. Why? Because criminals can fit stolen plates to their vehicles then commit crimes that implicate the legitimate owners of the numbers. There have therefore been countless cases of innocent motorists being pulled-over and questioned by the police. The “exterior fittings” category was followed by “valuables” such as jewellery, handbags, clothing, documents, wallets/purses, shopping bags and cash that were taken without consent in eighteen percent of thefts. That was three percent more than the previous year. Furthermore, “electrical” items such as  satellite navigation systems, televisions, videos, MP3 players, DVD players and computer equipment were taken in sixteen percent of cases which represented a three percent rise. The Crime Survey also showed that the percentage of thefts involving “other vehicle parts” was nine, followed by “radios” (seven), and “CDs/tapes/videos/DVDs” (six).   The theft of tools accounted for five percent which fell one percent from last year. Accounting for four percent of stolen items from vehicles is glasses & sunglasses. The theft of wheels (which has it's own catergory), accounts for only two percent. Finally also at two percent is the theft of mobile phones. Both of the latter categories were one percent less than 2010/2011.

Minimise Risk Of Having Items Stolen From Vehicles

As there are millions of vehicles on the road criminals tend to favour soft targets. The trick, therefore, is to make your pride and joy less appealing than the countless others that surround it. As such, the first step is to ensure that it has a wide range of security features such as locking wheel nuts, anti-theft registration plates and a high-quality alarm. These can be bought for very little money from a variety of high-street stores, some of which have a convenient installation service. Next, consider the safest place to park which is somewhere crooks feel uncomfortable as they are likely to be seen. As such, when practical aim for a public place that is brightly lit and protected by closed-circuit television. At the very least park close to a lamp post at night. Also, hide every item of cargo in the boot or glove box – even those with very little financial value. Furthermore, sat-nav suction cups leave rings on the windscreen that suggests there is a valuable item nearby. It is therefore prudent to remove any marks before leaving the car.

Items stolen in incidents of theft from vehicles Crime Survey for England and Wales


The idea of parking in a well lit place does not always work as I discovered when I parked under the lamppost nearest my house and so it made it easier for the neighbours to watch the vandals dancing on my car roof. They did nothing to stop or deter them so the well lit idea only works if there are good neighbours ....

I had my side window put through on my driveway and my Sat-Nav taken from the glove box, the only night i had left it in the car. I reckon they were watching from somewhere. I have never made that mistake since. My Sat-Nav and car cameras go in the home with me every time now, i leave nothing to chance.

I have had many convertible cars, and still to this day do not lock it as they will only slash the roof to get into it if it is locked. I rely on the alarm sensors to deter tea-leafs and leave nothing in the car which could be deemed attractive. It has worked so far

Once heard the argument - best not to lock your car in areas of high crime if you have nothing in it - saves the cost of repairing the smashed windows! Notice some lorry drives often leave the doors of the vehicle open to show there is nothing inside!

Parked a BMW 740iL alongside the Forth Clyde Canal. Someone tried to put a brick through the double-glazed security-strengthened side window - didn't break but I told the police I was rather hoping the brick bounced back and knocked the perpetrator unconscious into the canal - the policeman seemed to think that was rather uncharitable of me...

I too left my car unlocked a few months ago. I found the glovebox open and my CD's thrown on the floor the following morning. Nothing had been left on show, and nothing was subsequently taken, but just shows that because it was easy, they had a look to see if anything was worth taking. Much more careful now!

It's true that if you leave ANYTHING showing in your car, you are inviting thieves. The only time my window was smashed was when I had left a coat on the back seat. They didn't take anything, not even the coat; I reckon they thought there might be something underneath it. Another time, I forgot to lock the car. They spotted it straight away and had been in overnight, scattering papers and audio tapes everywhere. Luckily, my SatNav was locked in the glove box and they didn't get in there. Moral: never leave anything showing and always lock valuables away.