TRACKER warns car owners to take extra care as the evenings get darker (Nissan Leaf pictured).

As the clocks changed, TRACKER, (part of the Tantalum Corporation), is warning motorists to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their vehicles this winter. The latest figures from the leading stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) provider show that instances of vehicle theft increased by up to 25% in the colder months*.

“Dark winter nights are ideal for opportunist thieves to carry out a large number of thefts whilst the chance of getting caught in the act is reduced, so it’s important for vehicle owners to take extra care,” says Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER. “January especially is a peak month for thefts as its when we typically experience harsh frosty mornings; drivers often leave cars unattended for a few minutes whilst de-icing which presents itself as a prime opportunity for criminal gangs.

“Drivers should never leave their cars vulnerable, especially when thieves are looking to exploit the change in weather. There are plenty of precautions motorists can take to minimise the risk, and save from the heartache and expense if their car is stolen. While a tracking unit may not prevent vehicles from being stolen, they greatly increase the chances of recovery.”

TRACKER systems work like an electronic homing device, with a covert transmitter hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. As an added benefit, those who fit a TRACKER system could also benefit from a possible discount on their insurance premiums.

TRACKER’s technology uses a combination of GSM, VHF and GPS meaning vehicles can be located even if they are underground, in garages or in shipping containers. TRACKER provides a greater level of protection to its customers than any of its competitors, assisting the police on a daily basis in tackling vehicle theft head on.

TRACKER’s Winter Security Advice

Never leave the keys in the ignition, even if you are just stopping quickly
Never leave your car running unattended when de-icing
Always lock and secure your vehicle
Don’t leave belongings on show, lock them in the boot or take them with you
Do not leave technology items on display, such as satnavs, mobile telephones or DVD players. Take them with you or lock them in the boot.
Never leave car documents or spare keys inside the car – this only makes it easier for thieves to sell it on
Park in busy or well-lit and attended car parks near CCTV cameras
If you have a garage, use it to park your car
At home, don’t keep keys in a place where they can be seen or accessed from outside
Consider fitting a tracking device to help police recover your car if it’s stolen