Worrying developments with classic car theft

See article in the Daily Telegraph. More

Time to get a tracker?
Thefts of vehicles have been growing in recent years with thieves, particularly organised crime gangs, using sophisticated techniques enabling them to remove cars rapidly which makes tracing and recovering them very difficult. Without prompt information that a theft has occurred together with the vehicle's whereabouts, the chances of the police tracing and recovering a stolen vehicle are often low. More

Car thieves are targeting 1970s & 80s cars
NEWS item from November 2016. More

Classic car theft - increased security now essential
Reports of classic car thefts. More

Information Gateway to tracker items
Links to articles on trackers and dash cams on the V8 Website. More

Classic Tracker
With a tracker you can give the police details of where the car is if it is stolen.
Classic Tracker Ltd.
Haycroft Farmhouse
Devon TQ13 8HJ
0800 4 33 23 43

Posted: 201210
Contributor: Peter Nixon

In an article in the Daily Telegraph today, Dr Ken German (former member of the Metropolitan Police stolen vehicle squad) highlights some worrying developments with car theft and how thieves are targetting classic cars.

Thieves use trackers attached to target classic cars
A recent spike in the theft of classic cars has revealed that thieves are using new technology and exploring spy tactics to steal valuable historic vehicles. These include illegal tracking devices fitted to "target" cars selected by the thieves in order to follow it to the owners' home.

Thieves use static camouflaged cameras
Thieves have fitted them to trees or fences similar to those seen on wildlife programmes, capable of either being viewed online or downloaded. It enables thieves to observe a car's movements once it has arrived at the owner's home. Once the car has been stolen, the cameras are removed by the thieves to be used again.

What is the level of classic car theft?
While the theft of classics has had it peaks and troughs, a conservative total for the last decade showed 1,100 historic vehicles as stolen, of which only 165 (15%) have been discovered to date, some sadly burnt out; and of these only 16 have been recovered so far. A suggested 67 classics have been reported stolen this year.

Who are these classic car thieves?
Dr German says "the trafficking of valuable classic cars appears to be in the control of the criminal gangs who have become expert at creating fake provenance, counterfeit registration documents and forged certificates of authenticity from manufacturers and unsuspecting car clubs. Today's classic car thieves have become adept at changing chassis and/or engine numbers which, when married with fake or forged documents, still has the ability to deceive purchasers, traders and auctioneers. Where thieves have altered chassis and/or engine numbers that has become a challenge for the experts and requires the police to use chemical technology and thermal retrieval methods to decipher the original digits to confirm a positive identification and any useful provenance".

Where are these thieves?
At classic car shows most classic car enthusiasts feel they are amongst fellow enthusiasts but "sadly not all all of the spirited enthusiasts they come into contact with at a show or other club meetings are necessarily genuine". Quite a few recent victims believe that infiltration into their world by those with criminal intent were responsible for the loss of their pride and joy. Someone looking closely at your car, maybe in the wheel arches or the underside of your car, seemingly interested in the condition of the car, could easily be a thief planting a magnetic tracker. So do take care and check the wheel arches and underside regularly for planted trackers.