Staveley Head: Car Keys Targeted By Burglars - Insurance Claims Could Rise

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During April and May the number of burglaries in London jumped by 10%, but the number of burglaries which were related to car thefts has soared by 60%.

During April and May the number of burglaries in London jumped by 10%, but the number of burglaries which were related to car thefts has soared by 60%.

Scotland Yard says that criminal gangs are breaking into houses purposely to steal car keys. The thieves are finding this a far less risky option than breaking into vehicles and bypassing security systems whilst the vehicle is parked in the street and much more attractive than the risk of confrontation when attempting a carjacking.

As well as breaking into the house thieves regularly push fishing rods or long poles through letter boxes to hook car keys which have been left on tables or hanging in the hallway. If that fails they are not averse to breaking down front doors or windows in order to gain access if they see an expensive car parked outside.

A spokesman for Staveley Head, one of the UK's leading motor trade insurance providers, said "These organised criminal gangs are mainly targeting luxury cars such as Mercedes, Porsches, Jaguars and BMWs. But we are led to believe that in some areas gangs are stealing more modest cars in order to furnish a trade in used parts. During a recession we expect to see a traditional increase in certain aspects of the insurance business. More motor traders and taxi drivers for example, and a substantial increase in fraudulent claims. But carrying out burglaries primarily to obtain car keys is quite a recent innovation."

In recent months the number of residential break-ins in some London boroughs has increased by 70%. In the three months since the 1st April there have been 751 car key burglaries in London compared to 481 in the same period last year. In Barking and Dagenham the number of burglaries in the last twelve months has leaped to 1,516 from 884 in the previous year.

Scotland Yard is so concerned by the trend that they have launched Operation Bumblebee, a major initiative aimed at combating this alarming increase in burglaries. One detective told the London Evening Standard "A lot of groups are changing over to car crime because there is less risk. One of the main methods is through burglaries."

For more information on any aspect of motor trade insurance, or to inquire about insurance in general, contact Staveley Head.

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Ashley Peters
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