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The Evolution of the Thief

2018 06 12

It’s 2030, four men stand outside of your home wearing x-ray goggles. They can see when your family retire for the night, they can see where you lock your jewellery and watches and where you place your car keys.

The processes used by thieves are evolving as quickly as our technology is to counter them and in some cases, even faster with some insurers reporting a preliminary increase in vehicle thefts of 20%.

Any owner of a vehicle fitted with keyless entry could fall victim to this form of theft as a result of the principle tool, a relay box, being easily accessible by lower level criminals, One must consider whether the manufacturers could do more to stop these types of thefts from happening as, in the end, the only party to lose in such a scenario is the insurer. In fact, in most cases, the manufacturers actually benefit from the loss as they will inevitably sell a like for like replacement vehicle. Certain manufacturers equip their vehicles with tracking systems from new. With the advent of manufacturer provided, on-board telematics systems, it is likely that such systems will become far more common. Whilst this doesn’t assist with the vehicle being taken it does provide the vehicle owner and their insurer with the hope that they may be able to recover it once it has been stolen.

Vehicle tracking systems are an excellent option for your vehicle, but what happens if someone steals your watch or you your ring, how can you track this? Real time tracking of our personal effects isn’t currently available in the open market however being able to identify the owners of the property should it be discovered either through police intervention of as part of criminals trying to resell the items to realise is equally important. One option is the use of SmartWater which is a liquid that contains a traceable, unmovable signature that can be linked back to the item in question. Not only can it identify the item but one spot of smart water on the thief can link them back to the handling of the item and a potential policy prosecution.

Criminals have been known to survey clients homes over many weeks to afford them the best opportunity to gain entry to their home and escape undetected. With this in mind, how can we stay one step ahead? Utilising door sensors and the night setting on your central station burglar alarm could be the key to thwarting a potential theft of your property. If you keep your jewellery in a room that is not regularly frequented, why not fit a separate sensor to the door of this room and always ensure that you place your items into a locked and anchored safe? This would negate the need to go through the palaver of setting the main alarm when nipping to the shops for some milk, but if the room is breached without your consent, the police or alarm monitoring firm will be alerted.

It is clear that technology can put us and our possession at ever more risk but by harnessing the same technology in a consistent and thoughtful way can not only help protect us from losses but also put those people carrying out such criminality behind bars.

James Weekes, Associate Director

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