Police in Cumbria, Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Dorchester and Manchester have received hundreds of calls relating to the theft of batteries from Cars, HGV’s, Forklift Trucks, Roadworks, Electric Fencing systems and even Canal Barges.
Thieves are going to ever increasing lengths, often putting themselves and others in great danger to obtain lead which is selling for well over £600 per metric tonne at metal recycling facilities.
Farmers are finding equipment such as electric fences, tractors and other farm vehicles have been targeted, often costing hundreds, if not thousands of pounds to repair.
Several police security marking schemes now exist which may help to trace thieves (see below for prevention advice)
Police figures have shown that battery thefts have doubled in the past 12 months and are very likely to keep increasing whilever the value of scrap lead continues to rise.
Is there anything I can do to prevent battery theft ?
Our advice is firstly to place an ultra violet marker, perhaps with your postcode on your battery. This may catch out some thieves eventually. Additionally we would also reccomend that you ensure that your car has a good Thatcham approved alarm system. Doing so will also reduce your insurance. Further to this, perhaps most obvious is to make sure that you always leave your vehicle in a well lit, busy area and not in a quiet or badly lit back street.
Whilst at home keep your car keys away from thieves by not leaving them hanging from the front door lock or sitting close enough to your letterbox. A simple rod and hook system will make short work of stealing them from you. Make sure that any downstairs windows do not provide further opportunities.
If you plan to leave your vehicle whilst on holiday it may be practical to remove the battery or leave your vehicle in a secure car park where the company insurance policy will cover you. Look for the blue ‘Park Mark’ sign.
Who do I contact if my battery has been stolen ?
Your local police station should always be the first port-of-call. A crime number is essential to process insurance and it will help the police to understand any patterns of activity, often from known criminal gangs. Remember, if the thief has obtained your car keys through an open window – no amount of ranting at your insurance company will do any good!
Additionally call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111