|Lock up, hide contents and park in a safe
Midlands Police are cracking down on car crime and Inside Out
investigates the problem and reports on some of the solutions.
was a car thief. He is banned from every car park in the country until
prison, in December 2002, Mark Leo has gone straight.
crime spree he was, previously, responsible for breaking into one in
twenty of the cars in Wolverhampton city centre.
deter him, not even closed circuit television cameras.
"Soon as they turn back round, duck, hide behind the car," explains Mark.
" Soon as they
turn back round again, jump in and do what you got to do and go. So cameras
are no deterrent really."
"None of it puts me off. Cameras, you just wait for them to turn the other
way. Do what you got to do."
Now there are detectives from West Midlands police working, undercover,
to deter car criminals.
increasingly using decoy cars to catch the crooks 'red handed'.
is often a mobile phone or CD player in clear sight of passers by.
"They are left on the front passenger seat ... and we take it from there
and see what happens," said PC Richard
Paul Hawkins is responsible for the undercover operation and he said;
"Car crime is no different to anywhere else in the land. It is a major
issue throughout the UK and the West Midlands and Wolverhampton is no
city centre we tend to have 30/40 vehicles broken into each month."
scenes of crimes officer, Becky Taylor gets her first call of the day.
Thieves have broken into two cars parked at a city centre hotel.
to search the two cars for fingerprint and DNA evidence. The hope is that
evidence will match up to a known criminal.
One of the car drivers, an American, has not only lost his laptop with
important information on it but also his passport.
"It looked like a lot of cameras were here. I didn't like this spot but
it was the only place available last night.
"I am disheartened. I travel a great deal. I travel to Asia. I felt pretty
safe in England. I didn't think something like this would happen here.
"Back in the states I have never had a car broken into, stolen or anything
like this before."Anon
Now its a
case of waiting for forensic results.
for a result is the undercover team in Wolverhampton.
Two officers keep a close eye on the decoy car, while others patrol the
streets on foot and by car.
"Something will happen. Someone will come down and you think he ain't right.
"And then that's when you say lads get a bit closer, get a bit closer and
if he does it hopefully we have covered all the bases."
LEO MARKS YOUR CARD
with the face on or the face left in the car
sensors placed high up in cars
left in the back and other items left on display.
leaving an empty box in a car could mean a broken window.
parking in manned car parks try and park as near to the attendant
parking under CCTV cameras make sure to park in their area of view.
best CCTV cameras to park under are fixed ones. That way car crooks
can't dodge them and break into your vehicle.
how safe you secure your car, crooks will always find a way of getting
in. But some companies are now fighting back.
One of the
latest inventions to stop car criminals is SuperGlass.
of a thin layer of specially developed laminate bonded to the inside of
car windows and made by British company, Pentagon.
is strong enough to stop most car criminals. Even when smashed it still
holds the window in place.
methods of protecting cars, the police are striving to find new means
of catching car crooks.
took me on a quick tour of cars and had the last word;
"This used to be one of my favourite streets cos it's so appealing. The
factories are boarded up so its a blind spot.
"No one can see from the roadside COs there are bushes all down there,
so I find this street really appealing.
"And look at the amount of cars that's down there as well. I'd probably
hit about ten cars down here."