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Keys used for three out of four premium brand car thefts

The firm’s data shows that 70% of cars stolen in 2013 and fitted with a Cobra supplied vehicle tracking system were taken using the keys, reinforcing the need for drivers to be extra vigilant at all times.

‘Because standard levels of vehicle security fitted to modern cars are so effective, thieves are having to resort to stealing the keys to make off with the car,’ explained Andrew Smith, Cobra UK’s managing director.

‘Most often that means breaking into a house to take the keys, or fishing them through the letterbox with a hook and cane as many people leave their keys on a hall table or key hook.  It is also not uncommon for thieves to steal keys from coat pockets in pubs, restaurants and even workplaces. 

‘The difficult economic climate has resulted in more high value cars being stolen to order, often by highly organised criminal gangs who frequently ship them out of the country within days.  It is vital that drivers protect their assets as best they can, starting by keeping keys safe at all times,’ he added.

Recently, Cobra’s tracking technology has helped Interpol to recover a luxury car stolen in Berlin at a location in Poland, and an Audi R8 reported missing in Paris was located and secured for repatriation in Athens.

Auto crime is showing no signs of abating with the average value of cars stolen equipped with either a CobraTrak or NavTrak system rising from £34,000 to £40,000 from 2012 to 2013. Expensive 4x4s and high-performance models from premium brands are favourite targets.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.