Thieves target car gadgets


A new survey has reveled that the theft of gadgets from cars is growing, with satellite navigation (sat-nav) systems a particularly popular target.

The poll by Autoglass found that the typical break-in costs drivers an average of £646 - up 13 per cent on the figure a year ago.

The company added that January has become the new hotspot month for thieves, with side-window replacements rising 17 per cent in the first three months of 2006.

Autoglass said that more than 260,000 sat-navs were stolen in 2005. But only 37 per cent of those questioned for the survey had claimed on their insurance after a theft from a vehicle.

Sat-navs stolen
The survey also revealed:

one in seven has recently been a victim of car crime
just over 40 per cent said that gadgets including sat-navs, laptops, stereos, mp3 players and mobile phones had been taken - double the amount compared to last year
one third of sat-nav owners admit to leaving the cradle on display, and one in ten leave the whole system out for everyone to see when they park.
High-priced gadgets
Nigel Doggett, Managing Director of Autoglass said: ‘Worryingly, our research shows that 15 per cent of vehicle owners leave their valuables in full view and 28 per cent think that hiding things under the seats or in the door pockets is a good enough deterrent.

‘While break-ins are nothing new, the high-priced gadgets available today are proving too much of a temptation for thieves. The only way to prevent a break-in is to remove all trace of the equipment from the vehicle - and that includes the sucker marks from your sat-nav.’
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