Vehicle Crime


Theft of a car and theft of items from a car are the most common auto crime offences. Don’t leave items on display.

Always take your personal items with you when you leave your car. This stops car thieves from smashing your windows to steal items. If you can’t take your personal items with you, lock them in the boot. Don’t leave personal items in your glove box.

The following items should never be left anywhere in your car:

  • Removable radio fronts
  • Portable satellite navigation systems (‘Sat Navs’) and its mounting cradle
  • Mobile phones
  • Golf clubs
  • iPods
  • Handbags
  • Laptop computers and briefcases
  • Cheque books, credit and debit cards
  • Items of clothing
  • Driving documents
  • Personal correspondence

Always make sure your windows are closed and the doors are locked. Some criminals will simply keep trying door handles until they find one unlocked!

  • When you leave your car, leave your glove box and centre console open to show that there’s nothing in there.
  • Keep your car keys safe.

Do not leave them inside your car or in the ignition. Don’t leave your vehicle with the engine running to defrost on icy mornings, it only takes a second for a thief to jump in and drive it away. If this occurred your insurance company may not make a pay out! Don’t leave your keys in a coat pocket. Changing rooms are often targeted by thieves who aim to steal car keys that are left in coat pockets.

Make sure that your keys are not visible to other people. If your keys are in your bag, zip it up securely.

Thieves are stealing catalytic converters (part of a vehicles exhaust system) because of the small amount of precious metals they may contain. Consider having your catalytic converter security marked as a deterrent to theft.

Number plates can be secured with non return screws.

The following links from Thames Valley Police offer further advice on car and motorcycle security together with other related topics:



Last Updated: 17 October 2018