Warning To Car Owners As More ‘Chop Shops’ Discovered In The UK

Car ‘chop shops’, as they are known, are illegally run garages where stolen cars are stripped for their parts. These are then sold in order to make money. In recent years, particularly during the years of COVID lockdowns, chop shops have become more and more prevalent with many specialist units within county police forces uncovering and shutting down these illegal enterprises and bringing these criminals to justice.

In fact, very recently a specialist unit within Essex’s police force recovered £1 million worth of stolen supercars. Owners of some of the world’s most expensive cars, including a Rolls Royce and a Bentley were reunited with their beloved vehicles.

This recent discovery is another example of the underground work conducted by such chop shops in a string of discoveries by police around the UK. Leading to alarms being raised by police for car owners, particularly those of supercars and luxury motors, to be extra vigilant.

Keyless Car Theft

Aka relay theft is the most common type of car theft used by these criminal organisations. Giving them access in just seconds to some of the most high-tech and expensive car models around. Even without access to the key fob, the use of relay technology allows groups of offenders to bypass a car’s locking device, enter the vehicle and push to start, driving away before being spotted. This type of car theft is practically silent and leaves no trace but a missing vehicle from a driveway. Which is why it has become so common and is used by such gangs to collect cars worth thousands of pounds in order to make money by selling their valuable parts.

What the police are doing

Police forces across the UK are very much aware of this modern type of car theft and are insisting that owners do everything they can to protect their vehicles.

In the meantime, specialist units throughout the many county police forces are working to uncover these chop shops and shut them down. Not only recovering stolen vehicles of a high value but cars and vehicles of all sorts of makes, models, and values. And, with the dismantling of such chop shops comes the arrest of repeat offenders. Those car thieves who have become almost experts at making away with multiple vehicles in one day or night.

What you can do to protect your car

In order to protect your car from being stolen by thieves using relay car theft and your car becoming an addition to a chop shop, there are several safety hacks you can make part of your daily life. These include:

  • Physically disabling your car, making it impossible for thieves to move the car from your property. This means installing security devices such as steering wheel locks which will make it nearly impossible for thieves to drive your car away, or driveway bollards which would have to be operated by a remote control or key in order to allow a car to be driven from the property. Both methods are simple but effective in stopping these thieves in their tracks.
  • Deterrents such as alarms are also brilliant for preventing would-be criminals from attempting to steal a vehicle from your property. If an alarm is visibly present both on a property or is set off on a car, these criminals will quickly disappear from the scene. This is because the whole point of relay car theft is that it is fast and undetected. Anything that will draw attention to their behaviour will see them move far away from your property and your car.
  • Police are also encouraging owners of vehicles to consider installing GPS technology. GPS trackers are designed to provide 24/7 tracking information of your vehicle’s location. Although covertly installed, police can use this information to track down a stolen vehicle which may potentially lead to the discovery of more chop shops and the recovery of multiple stolen vehicles and car parts.

At FitMyTracker we sell a wide range of GPS trackers for all vehicle types, from cars to motorbikes and caravans. Shop the range and get in touch with our team for installation information.