Thieves have been targeting taxis in recent attacks around the Swanley and Hextable area in Kent, according to reports, and taxi drivers have been urged to keep their valuables more secure. The attacks took place overnight on May 30th when the taxis were left unattended, between the hours of 1am and 9am.
Kent Police were keen to stress the importance of keeping valuables secure, as thieves were able to take items such as a men’s jacket, £50 in cash and a pair of headphones which were left in the vehicles overnight. The advice from the police has therefore been to stay extra vigilant and remove anything that could be an easy steal overnight, even if they don’t look valuable in themselves, as items such as containers could alert thieves to a potential theft of something unseen which may be valuable.
The items were taken by breaking windows, and although taxi insurance will often cover the theft of items, small items will still incur an excess and often lead to drivers being out of pocket. Moreover, cover for things like windscreens is often an optional extra and can be an expensive outlay if the cover is not there, even if the actual valuable of the stolen item was negligible. And of course, any damage to the vehicle will involve time being taken out of potential earning time for a driver.
The taxis targeted were Hackney cabs and are a number in a string of break-ins happening over the last ten days, following an attack between May 28 – 29 where a taxi was broken in to and £20 stolen from the vehicle. Although the break-ins happened overnight when the drivers were not near the vehicles, the local paper and police also urged drivers to make sure they are keeping vehicles secure all the time.
Concerns have been raised over whether taxi drivers have been keeping their vehicles secure when leaving their vehicle unattended at any time, and also over not leaving sat nav marks on the windscreen which may alert a thief to the potential of a valuable piece of equipment hidden somewhere in the vehicle. Jackets were also flagged as something which may alert thieves to the potential of a wallet or keys, and the importance of parking taxis in a well-lit, secure area overnight, or preferably a garage was stressed.