IN A CLASSIC case of unintended consequences, GPS tracking devices that are marketed as security devices are being used by thieves to locate prized cars which can be monitored for activity and stolen at leisure. This tactic has arisen in the UK, where criminals had originally fashioned home-made trackers which were planted on target vehicles at car shows.
Insurance company Need to Insure tells of a home-made tracking device fitted to a Ford Escort RS Cosworth at this year’s Ford Fair event at Silverstone.
Dr Ken German, the Association of Auto Theft Investigators’ communications director says: “Crooks can easily make these devices, and attach them to your car in a hard-to-reach place where you don’t regularly check.”
UK Police are warning classic owners to be vigilant at car shows, as new reports suggest home-made tracking devices used to find your cars can be manufactured by criminals for less than $12. The parts, as well as instru ctions on how to make them, can be found for free and easily on the internet.
It doesn’t require a huge degree of sophistication to build one either, the trackers typically consisting of a 9v battery, a board and a sim card from a mobile phone. Not only do these devices allow villains to see where the car is, but they can also monitor when it hasn’t been moved for a while. An even easier method is to buy one of the many nonsubscription systems from eBay vendors. Bottom line?
Insure yourself to the hilt, take steps to physically secure your vehicle as effectively as possible and be reassured that while there are some smart crooks out there, there aren’t many.