Security Warning: Surge in Car Headlight Thefts

car headlight thefts

The Farsight remote CCTV monitoring group have seen a stark increase in attempted car part thefts from automobiles parked on dealership forecourts lately – especially car headlights. Checking the news media, this is not an issue that is isolated to car dealership forecourts, however.

It has been widely documented that car thefts has surged and Farsight recently published a write-up entitled “A automobile is stolen every nine moments in the UK” This article looked at not only vehicle thefts, which have increased 21% in the past three years , but also at the flourishing black market in stolen car parts which is running at an industrial scale in the UK.

You don’t have to search news media channels too hard to find a flow of reports of stolen automobiles from all across the UK during recent months. In addition , speculation across the news   and  industry   channels predicting a surge in car part thefts as a result of pandemic hold measures, appears to have become a stark reality.

Reselling whole cars is a risky business, even for criminals and it is not just the particular thefts of whole cars that affect car showrooms. It seems that   car parts have become new treasure as production lines have been affected coronavirus outbreak.

Opportunistic crooks are targeting vehicles to fill up the  replacement parts distance , caused by the shutting straight down of manufacturer supply chains. With regards to car parts targeted by robbers, catalytic converters have dominated the news with a 600% embrace claims involving catalytic converters reported by leading insurers. However , it seems that car headlight thefts are in the spotlight again…

Why is there a surge ‘Car Headlight Thefts’?

car headlight thefts

Car headlights were once comparatively simple affairs – a light bulb, a reflective bowl and a cup front, AutoExpress explains. Their Car Headlights Explained article outlines the different sorts of modern headlights in cars these days.   These range from the new laserlight headlights that are  found on several new cars from the upper finish of the market (costing over £5, 000 if opted for on the BMW i8 ), to LED and xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights.

In an article entitled How much does it cost to replace the headlight bulb? WhatCar? highlights the gulf that has emerged between the latest LED and high-intensity discharge (HID) or xenon models and halogen bulbs. These contemporary headlights can offer better performance, safety and looks, but this comes at a price.   They price significantly more than halogen headlights, with many being  sealed inside headlight products.

Modern headlights are certainly not just limited to luxury high end cars either.     WhatCar? states that out of 13 small hatchbacks they looked at, three had DIRECTED lights and four had HID lamps as standard on some or all trim levels. Four of the models they looked at came with sealed headlight units that price between £684 and £846 to replace.

Clearly, for opportunist thieves and organised criminal gangs, car headlight thefts must be generating lucrative returns on the car parts black market. However , there has already been a spate of another unlawful activity that uses these types of LED lights and may be fuelling the car headlight theft surge…

Are ‘illegal cannabis farms’ fuelling the surge in car headlamp thefts across the UK?

Empty property security

(Image credit score to ScunthorpeLive )

Illegal cannabis farms are becoming increasingly common across the UK, especially within vacant business units on industrial estates. A quick scan across the news media shows a number of recent incidents where marijuana farms have been set up in empty business units on industrial estates. For example:

> Huge £4m Scunthorpe drugs factory is the biggest detective has seen in 30 years / Lincolnshire

> Inside the cannabis stock tucked away on a Weldon industrial estate / Northamptonshire

> Angmering cannabis factory found at industrial estate / West Sussex

> Smell of weed leads police to large cannabis factory on Gloucestershire commercial estate / Gloucestershire

> £1. 5 million cannabis factory uncovered at industrial unit / West Midlands

Motoring blogs have blamed the car headlight theft trend  surge in thefts on  marijuana farmers being unwilling in order to fork out for the expensive lighting techniques needed to maximise their harvest. The Guardian links this to a spate associated with Xenon HID headlight thefts associated with from Porsche Cayenne and Panamera models.

As a top remote security monitoring security center, we monitor Fireplace & Intruder alarms, CCTV and Access Manage systems for many businesses within the automotive retail sector , and also work with many company owners who manage security for industrial estates across the country – and also those managing empty property security .     It is interesting to think about that the surge in car parts thefts,   illegal drugs related crimes and industrial premises safety breaches are interlinked and feed off one another. It also certainly movements the focus from opportunist incidents to organised criminal activities.

Optimising car dealership forecourt security is vital

With the threats posed by both opportunists and prepared crime to motor dealerships plus car showroom forecourts, whether section of large automotive retail groups or independents, it is clear that efficient security is vital to protecting assets, premises and people.

It is estimated by  UHY Hacker Young   that the associated with inventory that is held by UK car dealerships on the forecourts is as high as £27. 3 billion dollars, which demonstrates the significant degree of risk that these businesses must mitigate. As such, maintaining and optimising the safety of car showrooms and vehicle retail forecourts is a key concern and one that most take very seriously.

Increasingly, the use of SURVEILLANCE CAMERA and remote SECURITY CAMERA monitoring station partners is being considered as a crucial measure, as part many security systems and ways of protect their assets, premises and individuals.

The use of CCTV techniques and CCTV remote monitoring have many benefits in protecting businesses from vehicle crime, such as the potential to proactively deter incidents in real time and  prevent them progressing with audio warnings and a rapid response escalation in contrast to retrospective reflection when the incident has happened and loss/damage has occurred.

Preventative security measures are particularly essential as according to the Office for Nationwide Statistics, just  40% of stolen vehicles are recovered . Most of these are damaged and twenty percent written off. As for car components, it is very difficult to track these straight down, let alone recover them.

See how remote monitoring with Farsight works:

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Speak to the remote monitoring safety experts

Farsight has worked across the  automotive field , particularly car dealerships car showrooms, vehicle hire groups plus motorcycle dealerships for many years and views itself as a leading remote safety monitoring partner working with businesses large and small.

The security team would be happy to talk about your security optimisation needs to help you mitigate against vehicle crime, whether you are a security installer or responsible for site security. Simply drop us the line via our contact form , request a call back or give us a call on 0845 371 0101.

Further reading through

We have produced many articles and guides that may help you for making important decisions in optimising site security at car showroom site(s) or car dealership forecourt(s).

> Industrial Estate Protection

> Essential Autumn Security Tips

> Why do you need remote monitoring services?

> Clear Property Security

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