Car-jacking on the increase

The AA is warning drivers of an increase in car-jackings following one of its team being targeted in Halesowen.

In addition to recent warnings regarding ‘frosting’ – when car thieves are on the look-out to steal cars left unoccupied with the engine running as the owner tries to de-frost the windows, the AA has noted an increase in more violent episodes of car-jacking.

The organisation highlights a number of cases such as in Birmingham, where police are investigating a ‘wave of car-jackings’ after a spate of six in two weeks, whilst since September police have reported 66 car-jackings in West Yorkshire – 26 of which occurred in Bradford.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, said, ‘For the last few years we have warned of a spate of ‘frosting’ thefts across the country. This can be a double blow to the drivers who lose their cars and may not be covered by insurance.

‘However in recent weeks we have been alarmed at what appears to be an increase in more violent car-jacking incidents particularly across the Midlands and Yorkshire.

‘There seems to be two types of crime at play here. In some cases, criminals are deliberately targeting high-end cars that may be stolen to order and probably shipped out of the country. At the other end are the more opportunist criminals who find it easier to steal cars by accosting vulnerable drivers and stealing the keys.

‘Either way, the car keys are the weakest link in the car security chain and should be guarded like cash. Despite the recent spate of car-jacking incidents it is still a relatively rare crime but we are just advising drivers to be more vigilant.’