Motor theft is a serious problem in Ireland, in 2022, there were more than 4,000 vehicles reported stolen and the issue continues to show a significant increase year-on-year, with a 52% increase on 2021 and a 17% increase on 2019. This not only causes financial loss for car owners but also has a wider impact on society, including increased insurance premiums and the cost of policing. Combatting motor theft requires a coordinated effort from law enforcement, government, and individual car owners.
Stolen-to-order vehicles have become a growing concern in Ireland in recent years. Criminal gangs are known to steal high-end vehicles, such as luxury cars and vans, to order for export or resale. These vehicles are often dismantled for parts or shipped out of the country to be sold on the black market. Stolen-to-order vehicles are difficult to trace and recover, making them an attractive target for organized crime groups. The Irish government and law enforcement agencies are working to combat this issue by increasing public awareness and investing in new technology to better track stolen vehicles.
Mass market cars and vans are increasingly being targeted for parts by thieves in Ireland. Criminal gangs often steal these vehicles and dismantle them for valuable parts, such as engines and catalytic converters, which can be sold on the black market for a profit. This trend has caused concern among car owners and the wider community, as it not only leads to financial loss but also poses a risk to road safety. It is important for car owners to take steps to protect their vehicles and for law enforcement agencies to take a proactive approach to combatting this issue.
Keyless vehicles have become a popular target for thieves in Ireland. Criminals are using electronic devices to intercept the signals between the key and the car, allowing them to unlock and start the vehicle without the owner’s knowledge. This method of theft is known as “relay theft” and has become a growing concern for car owners. Thieves are able to steal high-end cars and luxury vehicles with keyless entry systems in a matter of seconds, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and recover these stolen vehicles.
Here are some ways in which you can add extra protection to your vehicle:
- Always lock your car: It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember to lock your car, even when you’re only leaving it for a short time. An unlocked car is an invitation to thieves.
- Park in a safe, well-lit area: Park your car in a well-lit area that is visible to other people. Avoid parking in isolated areas, especially at night.
- Use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock: An immobilizer or steering wheel lock is an effective way to deter thieves. These devices make it difficult for a thief to start your car, which reduces the risk of theft.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car: Don’t leave valuables in your car, such as wallets, laptops, or mobile phones. Thieves are more likely to break into a car if they can see something valuable inside.
- Install a car alarm: A car alarm is a great way to deter thieves. Make sure the alarm is loud enough to be heard from a distance and that it’s installed by a professional.
- Keep your keys safe: Don’t leave your car keys lying around or in an obvious place, such as on a hook by the front door. Keep them in a secure location.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings when you’re approaching or leaving your car. If you see anyone suspicious, stay in a safe location and call the Gardaí.
- Consider installing a tracking device: A tracking device can help locate your car if it’s stolen. This can also help the police to recover your car quickly and increase the chances of catching the thief.
In conclusion, preventing motor theft in Ireland requires a multifaceted approach. While law enforcement agencies have a role to play in cracking down on criminal gangs and investing in new technologies, individual car owners can also take steps to protect their vehicles. By locking your car, parking in well-lit areas, and investing in security devices, you can minimize the risk of your car being stolen. It’s important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. By working together, we can combat motor theft in Ireland.
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