Don’t let car thieves ruin your work’s Christmas party, warn police

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WARWICKSHIRE Police is reminding people to secure their vehicles and belongings whilst enjoying their work’s Christmas party.

George Stepney, crime prevention manager at Warwickshire Police said: “We know there are teams of car thieves who visit hotel and public house car parks where they know there will be company drinks or parties taking place after work.

“Some look for cars arriving just after work and check to see if there are a series of vehicles of the same make, with similar registration numbers or company parking badges in their windscreen, indicating that they are being driven by people from the same organisation.

“Other thieves will simply sit and watch people arriving at a restaurant, pub or hotel to see if they transfer anything to the boot before they go inside.

“Car thieves know that once the driver is inside they have a certain amount of time to break into their car and steal any items of value.

“Thieves tend to target company cars because the likelihood of finding a lap top computer or other high value equipment inside is higher, but all cars are potential targets.”

Those attending work social functions can help to protect their car by:-

*Removing everything of value from their vehicle before leaving the office for a night out

*Leaving the lap top at work or at home

*Asking yourself if you really need to take your briefcase with you in the car when you are going to attend a social gathering.

*Leaving the glove compartment open and removing or opening the rear parcel shelf to show there is nothing in the boot.

*Removing anything from the car that you don’t need.

*Keeping the number of CDs in you car to a minimum.

*Not hiding items in the glove compartment - it’s the first place a thief will look.

*Using a visible anti theft device such as a steering wheel lock, even if your vehicle is fitted with an immobiliser.

Car thieves want to be in and out of a car with minimum time and effort. If you show them there is nothing to steal, and also make it look like your car is well protected, they are less likely to target your vehicle

Party venues can take the following steps to improve security

*Install CCTV surveillance equipment in car parks

*Employ security officers to patrol car parks

*Wherever possible have gated exits

*Have clear crime prevention signs visible reminding motorists to remove their property from their car

*Meet the car park standards as set under the Park Mark scheme. For more information, please visit www.saferparking.com