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Is your car worth stealing?

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Is your car worth stealing?

Earlier this morning I went to Sainbury's for a little light shopping. I parked opposite some disabled bays. Since I was listening to an interesting article on the radio I waited a while before going about my errands. At almost the same time an immaculately presented "R" registered Mk1 (I think) Nissan Micra pulled into the bay opposite, driven by a dead (no pun intended) ringer for "Foggy" from "last of the Summer Wine" complete with flat-cap and wax jacket, corduroy's and brown shoes, but probably a few good years older.
He (Foggy) proceeded to fit one of those flat bar type steering wheel locks, that were very popular a few years ago, having satisfied himself it was correctly fitted by trying to turn the steering wheel in each direction several times, he eased himself out of the car, stretched himself to his considerable height and locked the door using the key (maybe it preceded central-locking) he then slowly walked round the car clock-wise checking the hutch lid was locked (it was a two-door) then the passenger door, he carefully looked around him then walked round again anti clock-wise checking the openings as he went, finally he checked that the bonnet was locked shut. For the 25 yards or so he needed to cover to enter the store, he must have looked round to his car 4 or 5 times.
As far as I Know, Nissan Micra's of any age do not figure highly with the miscreants who steal cars to joy-ride and perform smoky doughnuts in empty car-parks. Nor are they the car of choice to attract escaping smash and grab raiders to steal as a get-away car, especially as the average bobby on a push-bike will catch them up at the first set of traffic-lights, not to mention the room inside for a get-away haul of swag is strictly limited.
Am I missing something here or, does "Foggy" really have good reason to be somewhat obsessive about the security of his car?
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24 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

I suspect, sadly, that it was from a previous experience.
N/A

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

How I smiled at your description of the old man!
Across the road from us is a widower who had, until fairly recently, his two grown up children living with him. I think there is an acronym for such an arrangement but can't remember it! Neither of them seem to have any friends and tended to stay at home.
The son is now well into his thirties and finally has found a lady with whom he has set up home.
For years we have witnessed the self-same ritual as your old man.  Granted, his cars have been newer though.
He would lock the car with central locking, go around each door (including boot) to check that they were all locked, then walk to the front door, all the while turning to check that everything was intact. This he would do even in the middle of the day and he was going out again within a short time frame.
I hasten to add that we live on a cul-de-sac and any would-be thief would have been very audacious to attempt stealing it in broad daylight.
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Old cars are a darn sight easier to pinch than new ones.
New cars are virtually impossible for a casual thief to pinch, a real credit to the tech of the day (immobilisers and suchlike)
Old cars are a lot easier - smash the steering lock, and hotwire the ignition.

So - is such a car more desirable? No
More accessible? Yes.
So - given a choice between an old Ford Sierra and a Nissan Micra, the Sierra would probably get more attention, but if there is only the Micra about...

Edit to add:
To pinch a modern car, you really need to steal the keys first. A BMW X5 from over the road from us was stolen after the thief entered the house, and a Golf R32 was stolen after a front door was *smashed* down by crims eager to get their hands on it.
I also know of several people who have been victims of 'key fishing' where the keys have been fished off hall tables/floors etc by thieves keen to pinch their motors.
In summary - drive a shed - you can even buy my Megane if you want a really 'theft-proof-by-undesirability-and-modern-security' car.
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 520
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

I can think of a few reasons:-

  • a more nondescript car is probably sought after by those wanting transport, rather than realising the value of the car, and the car will probably be abandoned, and often set alight, after they've used it

  • joy-riders often won't care what sort of car they can get

  • older cars can be easier to break into

  • quite a few older cars can be quite valuable if broken for spares


N/A

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Well, that's an interesting take on things and one that I hadn't considered.
I just thought that it might have been his pride and joy and he was taking good (if not slightly obsessive) care of it.
Certainly this was the case with my neighbour as he even used to check the paintwork!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Sounds like O.C.D. to me
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,542
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Petlew you could be describing my neighbour.  He has a 'J' reg Nissan which he uses no more than once a week to do his shopping.  On his return he walks round the car twice checking all doors and the boot.  He then stands and looks at the car for a few moments before going indoors.  He never carries passengers so why the need to check the other 3 doors always makes me laugh Wink
There was a discussion on LBC this week about car theft and it confirmed what James_G said.  Newer cars are impossible to steal without the keys and they reported an increase in house break-ins simply to steal the keys.
N/A

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Quote
Sounds like O.C.D. to me

Santiago has it right IMO - it certainly seems like OCD.
I am rather hoping that with his new home and partner our former neighbour has dropped the habit now that he has more interesting things to do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

If I noticed a suspicious person watching me I would also make sure everything is locked up. I am sure that the glances back were to see if the police need to be called the person loitering in the car park.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

I lock all my doors while I'm driving through a town called thetford in Norfolk, is made of rough stuff. Also couldthe OP ritual be put down to OCD?
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,542
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

That's something I like about American cars Euge.  As you put the car into drive all the doors lock automatically.  Go back into Park and the locks come off.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Do you mean American as in Ford? or as in cars sold to the American market?
I think there are cars in England that self lock but I couldn't tell you what they were, most likely james' megane will self lock.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,542
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

I meant cars on the American market.
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 520
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Is your car worth stealing?

Quote from: Euge
I think there are cars in England that self lock but I couldn't tell you what they were, most likely james' megane will self lock.

I think quite a few do. Both of ours do (10 year old A-Class Merc and a Fiat 500). Neither of which are that up-market Smiley