The telematics firm’s head of police liaison says car theft is up due to the decline of used car parts 

Stolen vehicle recovery expert (SVR) and fleet telematics firm Tracker Network UK has urged car crime victims not to confront thieves themselves – even if they know where the stolen car is using GPS via an insurance policy.

This follows the case of Joe Combs from Battersea, who had her keyless Land Rover swiped in mid-May this year. She later found it two miles away with fake licence plates using her GPS tracker, which was part of her insurance policy.

The telematics firm has warned that although in Combs’ case there was a happy ending, organised criminal gangs can be dangerous and confrontation should be avoided.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison for Tracker, said: “The case of Joe Combs is concerning. Although she knew the precise location of her car, she didn’t know who had taken it, whether they were still in or with the car or the threat they may pose to her safety.

”For their own safety, we would never advocate anyone taking matters into their own hands.

“We work closely with the police to ensure stolen vehicles are recovered quickly and safely, without the owner getting involved, beyond reporting the theft and accepting delivery of their recovered vehicle.

”The fact that the Land Rover owner was lucky enough to safely ‘steal’ back her stolen car should not encourage others to follow her example. Vehicle thefts should always be reported to the police then left with the trained professionals to handle.”

Car part shortage

Tracker claims to be the only stolen vehicle recovery expert to have its system embedded into all police forces across the UK.

In addition to this, more than 2,000 police vehicles and all police helicopters are capable of locating a vehicle with a tracker device fitted.

Wain added: “The shortage of used cars and car parts has led to higher numbers of vehicle thefts, from the prestige one-of-a-kind models down to the £500 bargain.

“Those stealing cars to feed the used car market – or the growing demand for spare parts – are often professional criminals who will not willingly give up a potentially significant pay-day, particularly if a well-intended but vulnerable rightful owner turns up to make claim to the vehicle.”

Tracker uses a combination of VHF (very high frequency) with GPS and GSM (global system for mobile) technology which makes its units resistant to both GPS GSM jamming.

This subsequently enables the police to pinpoint a stolen vehicle if it is hidden in an underground car park, container or lock-up for example.

Tracker’s Mesh Network plays an instrumental role in quickly locating stolen vehicles.

When a vehicle is fitted with a Tracker unit and it passes any Tracker equipped vehicle that has been reported stolen, the unique Mesh Network listens and automatically sends a silent signal to Tracker’s headquarters and the police, providing the location of the stolen vehicle.