West Midlands Police are urging car owners to use visible deterrents such as steering wheel locks to protect their vehicles – after the crime-fighting kit has successfully helped to combat thieves.
The force is encouraging drivers to avoid becoming a victim by making sure their car or van is protected with an approved security device to deter criminals.
Thieves were prevented from stealing Neil Horsburgh’s Audi S3 after they failed to cut through a wheel lock despite using an angle grinder.
Mr Horsburgh previously had a car stolen last December and thieves tried to make off with his new, replacement vehicle after stealing the keys from his Quinton home this spring.
However, they were forced to flee without the motor after failing to break off the steering lock which had been put on by the car’s owner. It is not the only occasion such equipment has helped to stop would-be thieves.
Mr Horsburgh said: “After having a car stolen previously I learnt the lesson of taking every step possible to avoid having a victim again.
“It is a horrible feeling to have your car taken; it is something very personal and often your pride of joy which has taken months, even years to save for.
“Then there is the inconvenience of having to arrange insurance claims and getting a new vehicle. This can be avoided by taking just a few seconds to put on a steering lock.”
The force is currently working with Disklok who are offering a 15 per cent discount on products for those who sign up to the WMNow service.
Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team, said: “A steering lock can make a huge difference in keeping your car out of the hands of crooks.
“Not even an angle grinder could get through and highlights the merits of having and using such an effective but simple to use piece of kit.
“The noise generated by the thieves using the grinder to try and remove the lock, drew attention from members of the public who called the police.
“The steering lock is just one layer, there is the use of other security products such as tested aftermarket electronic security products; along with advice from your car manufacturers main dealer on what options they suggest and ensuring your vehicles software is up to date.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “I have ensured vehicle crime is a top priority for West Midlands Police.
“The force are going after serial criminals who commit many of the crimes and are tackling the ‘chop shops’ which trade in stolen vehicle parts. I am also getting tough with the manufacturers to improve security of the vehicles they sell.
“I am pleased that West Midlands Police is supporting motorists too by working with Disklok to bring in a 15 per cent discount for steering locks to help people protect their vehicles.”
Car owners are reminded to keep the key to a steering lock key separate from their main set of car keys.
For 15 per cent off a Disklok sign up to our free alert system WMNow here: https://www.wmnow.co.uk/
For more car crime prevention tips visit the https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/crime-prevention webpage.