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Keep Your Car For Christmas

11 December 2003
Media release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Keep Your Car For Christmas

Ho ho..oh no! What kind of Christmas will it be this year if someone steals or breaks into your car?

The New Zealand Security Association says the holidays period is traditionally marred by an increase in the number of car theft and break ins, but that with a little extra care and forethought, many opportunistic acts could be avoided.

“Leading up to Christmas, people are busy and preoccupied. They might pop into a shop to pick up some gifts and think they’ll only be a minute and not lock the car – or even leave the keys in the ignition. That’s long enough for a thief to help himself to the car’s content, or the car itself,” says Scott Carter, chairman of the NZSA.

The NZSA points out people on holiday, traveling in unfamiliar areas, are sometimes less careful than they are in their own environment.

“They tend to think if they’re on a break, the thieves are too. That’s anything but the case,” Mr Carter says. “They love relaxed holidaymakers who leave wallets, cameras, portable CD players, and designer sunglasses in full view so they know which cars are worth breaking into.”

The following are some basic vehicle security tips from the NZSA to ensure everyone keeps their car for Christmas.

- Close and lock all doors, windows, boots and sunroofs whenever you leave your car – however briefly, even if just paying for petrol.
- Always remove the ignition key if you are not in the car.
- Set your car alarm if the process is not automatic.
- Use any other security devices fitted – make it as hard as possible for a potential thief.
- Conceal any valuables or personal possessions – they’re a magnet for thieves. Lock these items in the boot of the car if need be.
- Don’t leave money, bankbooks, money cards in the car
- All equipment such as radio/cd/cassette players should be marked and serial numbers noted.
- If you park your car in a garage, lock both the car and the garage
- When parking in a public space, always leave the vehicle in a well-lit and well spaced location, preferably visible to passers by.

The NZSA says securing your vehicle with a reputable car alarm and immobiliser is a wise investment at any time.

“But making sure it is installed and operational before your holiday is wiser still,” Mr Carter says. “Most quality brands of car alarms now have their security level star rated by the New Zealand Security Association: one to five stars, five being the highest. Purchasing an alarm can be confusing when taking into consideration, your requirements, your vehicle technical requirements and possibly that of your insurance company.”

The NZSA offers the following advice.

1. Check with your insurance company if they offer any concessions or rewards. If so, what NZSA star rating do they require for your vehicle to comply?
2. Only choose a product that has been NZSA star-rated and to your desired level. (see www.security.org.nz for a list of rated brands and products)
3. Ask about optional convenience features, remote central locking is commonly available as well as a host of others.
4. Check the cost of installation and be sure the installer is certified by the NZSA. All certified installers are professionals with necessary training, expertise and security clearance. (see www.security.org.nz for a list of certified installers)
5. Have it installed before you need it.

The NZSA wishes all motorists a safe and secure Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

…ends/


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