How Your Car’s Rear View Mirrors Could Leave You Vulnerable to Theft

How Your Car’s Rear View Mirrors Could Leave You Vulnerable to Theft

Thieves are using cars’ power rearview mirrors as a “green flag” for unlocked vehicles to steal or search for valuables, the AA and police have warned.

Convicted car thieves have told university researchers they are scanning the streets to identify high-end cars with retractable rearview mirrors that aren’t folded as a simple sign they’re open.

Former Police Chief Inspector Kevin Floyd, a Huddersfield University criminologist who has interviewed convicted car thieves in prison, told The Telegraph that most of his break-ins came from “lazy” motorists who wouldn’t lock their cars even when They had valuables inside.

It meant that opportunistic thieves could easily bypass all the alarms, keyless defenses and other high-tech security that the car giants have spent tens of millions of pounds developing.

‘Car owners are lazy’

“With today’s modern cars, open rearview mirrors are equivalent in the thief’s mind to an open door. It’s as simple as that. It’s a green flag,” Floyd said.

“It’s as easy as walking down the street. They don’t want to test the doors because they’re so sensitive they’ll set off an alarm, but if the mirrors are open then that’s confirmation the car is unlocked and no alarm will go off.” .

“Then they can sit there, pretend to be the owner and take as long as they want to take a good look and steal things or steal the car. It’s an open invitation.”

“The other basic mistake is leaving valuables in the first place because car owners are lazy. These are not just valuables with a financial value, but valuables that can be used to commit more thefts. For example , people can leave a bunch of house keys.” and a letter with your address there”.

‘Keep your keys safe’

His warning was echoed by Jenny Sims, the National Council of Police Chiefs’ leader on auto crime, amid a 22 percent rise in vehicle thefts from about 90,000 to nearly 110,000 in the past year, according to the Bureau of Police. National Statistics (ONS). ), equivalent to 300 a day.

“Locking your vehicle, even when it’s filling up or parked in your driveway, greatly reduces the chance you’ll be attacked by an opportunistic thief. Even if you have locked your vehicle, check to make sure you haven’t left any windows or the sunroof open.

“Today’s vehicles are, in general, more difficult to steal than ever before, unless the thief can access your key or key fob to clone them. Keep your keys safe, out of sight when you’re home, and away from your front door.”

The new low-tech threat adds to the growing sophistication of organized crime gangs of car thieves who often steal luxury goods on demand using “relay” technology to intercept or block signals from keyless fobs.

‘cheeky trick’

Ms Sims has suggested that, in addition to keeping keys away from doors or windows in faraday bags with mosquito netting or signal blockers, motorists could also implement the old-fashioned steering wheel lock, an option the chief of AA, Edmund King, recommended after his My wife’s Lexus was stolen.

Jack Cousens, the AA’s chief of highway policy, said; “Looking for modern cars without their wing mirrors folded down is a pretty cheeky trick for thieves. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that gives the most, and while rearview mirrors simply blend into the background for passersby and car owners, open mirrors should stick out like a sore thumb for miscreants.

“If that wasn’t enough, drivers often simply press buttons on the key fob and rely on radio waves that their car has been locked. However, thieves now get their hands on signal jamming technology that allows them to intercept the key request, meaning drivers unknowingly drive away and leave the car unlocked. Waiting an extra five seconds to check the mirrors and door handle is all it takes to make sure the car is locked before driving away.”

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