Diamond

Handbag car thefts netting thieves

07/11/2008

Leaving your handbag in the car may seem harmless, but not when you realise how many are stolen each year from unattended cars. More than 400,000 British women have had their handbags stolen from their car in the past 12 months, and the astonishing total value of those handbags is around £178 million.

The research, conducted by women's car insurance specialist Diamond, shows just how easy a target handbags are to thieves who are getting away with a small fortune with each bag they take. Diamond was so surprised by how many were stolen that it decided to find out how much it was costing women.

Its research revealed the average cost of a woman's handbag and its contents is £431.68, and that doesn't include the cost of replacing car and house keys. It then compared this to the number of handbag thefts reported by its policyholders in the last year and to the number of women drivers in the UK to find just how big an issue this is.

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis, commented, "It's shocking to see just how many handbags are stolen each year from cars, and that shows exactly why you should never leave your bag on display in your car.

"In the run up to the festive season thieves will be on the look out for easy targets so however stressed out and rushed you are to find that perfect present, you should never leave anything on show in your unattended car that could attract a potential thief. Can you imagine losing your bank cards and mobile phone in the run up to Christmas when you need them the most?"

Here are some top tips to help prevent handbag theft from a vehicle:

  1. Don't leave anything visible in an unattended car, even if it is worthless, a thief doesn't know that. When breaking in to look at these they may find something of value if you haven't taken the necessary precautions.
  2. Never leave your handbag under a seat as a thief is likely to look there.
  3. Lock all windows and doors, not forgetting the sunroof, when leaving the car unattended.
  4. Lock your car when paying for petrol or popping into a shop, and never leave the keys in the ignition.

If for whatever reason you can't take your handbag with you when leaving your car, place it in the boot so that it's out of site. However, make sure that you do this in a discreet manner in case anyone is watching.

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