Thieves target older vehicles

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 10:23 04/06/2014

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The number of vehicles reported stolen in Marlborough has decreased in the past four years, despite seven vehicles taken in the past month.

Figures supplied by police show 52 vehicles and seven motorcycles were stolen, or attempts were made to steal them, from Marlborough and Kaikoura since July 1 last year.

That number is down from four years ago when 112 vehicles and six motorcycles were reported stolen.

A police spokeswoman said about 80 per cent of vehicles stolen in Marlborough were recovered.

"Most of our stolen vehicles are joy riders and we don't have chop shops or steal to order issues," she said.

Two of the seven vehicles stolen in Marlborough and Kaikoura in the past month were still missing. The cars, stolen between May 25 and May 26, went missing from Kinross St and Dunbeath St in Blenheim, the spokeswoman said.

Toyota topped the list of the most stolen vehicle brand in the region, followed by Ford, Nissan and Subaru.

The Toyota Hilux was the most targeted vehicle, with four stolen in the past 18 months, followed by the Subaru Legacy with three stolen.

Last week AA Insurance announced the 10 most stolen cars in New Zealand, based on its own claims data. The Honda Torneo topped the list, followed by Subaru Impreza and Mazda Premacy.

The average value of a stolen vehicle claim from the top 10 list was $4977.

According to AA Insurance claims data, a car manufactured before 2000 was more than four times as likely to be stolen as a car manufactured from 2005 onwards.

AA Insurance head of customer relations Suzanne Wolton said New Zealand had a high number of ageing, imported cars.

"Our claims show that older models, which have less-advanced or no security features than newer vehicles, are easy targets for thieves," she said.

There were simple things car owners could do to make their car less attractive to thieves, such as installing an alarm, a steering lock or an immobiliser.

"Thieves will always go for the easiest, fastest option, so if you make it just a little bit harder for them then chances are they'll lose interest in your car and move on to an easier target," Wolton said.

CAR SECURITY TIPS

AA Insurance tips for preventing car theft

Always lock your car, even when parking at home.

Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight, including away from your front and back doors.

Park in a garage, carport or off-street where possible.

If you have to park on the street make sure your car is under a street light or in a well-lit area.

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If you have to park in a car park then use an attended, secure parking building if possible and park close to the entrance or exit.

Install visible security such as an alarm light, immobiliser or steering lock.

Never leave your keys in the car or your car running when unattended.

Be extra vigilant over weekends and during warmer weather when there are generally more thefts reported.

- The Marlborough Express

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