A recent report by Fleet News reveals that thieves are using stolen Sat Navs to cause even more damage, by leading them to the rightful owner’s home. By logging into searched (or saved) locations, or even following the last route used, the thieves can follow your tracks and find where you live.
As worrying as these reports seem, there are some simple ways to keep your belongings safe.
Take it with you
The easiest way to stop your Sat Nav being stolen is to never leave it unattended. For short lengths of time, it’s fine to leave it hidden in the glove compartment, but for long periods it’s necessary to take it with you to keep it safe.
Keep it hidden
For short stops it’s fine to hide belongings so that Sat Navs, or any valuables in your car, don’t attract unwanted attention. Leave it in the glovebox, in the boot, under the seat or hidden with a coat or jacket for quick stops away from the car, such as popping into a shop or a friend’s house. For anything longer, always remove your valuables.
Cover your tracks
Thieves can tell if you use a Sat Nav. How? Well, for starters, there are tell-tale signs all over your dashboard and windscreen. There’s no point going to all that effort to hide or remove your Sat Nav if thieves can still see the stand or suction marks on the glass. Make sure you’re taking any clips, chargers or stands with you and clean away any marks from the screen. Thieves won’t bother to question whether you’ve taken the Sat Nav with you, and will break into your car either way.
Hide other valuables
Just as important is to hide other valuables which may attract attention. A thief might spot a Smartphone charger, and at the same time, may also find your Sat Nav in the glove box. It’s easy to forget that chargers are plugged in, leave a valuable stereo in a parked car or leave accessories around the handbrake area, but all of these invite thieves to look at what you have that’s worth stealing; like advertising your belongings.
Check your windows
We’re so used to everything being automatic that sometimes we forget to close windows. Always check windows, doors and sunroofs are closed and locked properly to best avoid anyone helping themselves to your valuables. Similarly, in short trips such as filling up at a petrol station, we can be tempted to leave the car unlocked, but we’re leaving ourselves easy targets for thieves.
Know your model
Everyone knows their brand of Sat Nav, but what about the make, model and serial numbers? Make a note of all these, or keep your warranty and manual in a safe place at home to rely on incase of theft. This will help police track your Sat Nav and have a better chance of it being returned. There are several products which can immobilise your Sat Nav and they will need such details to do so.