'Frosting' and 'Car Jacking'

AA warns of increased risk on cold mornings

4 December 2008

Give yourself extra time on frosty mornings to de-ice the car

The recent cold spell has brought an increase in the car crime of "frosting" and "car jacking" warns the AA. This week car thieves in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, West Midlands, Northamptonshire and Berkshire have been on the look-out to steal cars left unoccupied with the engine running as the owner tries to de-frost the windows.

A woman driver from Berkshire has been badly injured as a result of one such incident. AA Insurance has warned that car owners who start their car on a frosty morning and then go back indoors, even for a moment, leave themselves open to the vehicle being stolen and not being covered by their insurance.

In the past police forces from Central Scotland to Northamptonshire have warned of the dangers of frosting. As cars have become more secure the determined thief will target the car keys.

Commenting, Edmund King, AA president, said: "We have heard of a spate of frosting thefts across the country. This can be a double blow to the drivers who lose their cars and may not be covered by insurance. We have heard of organised criminals cruising the suburbs looking for unattended cars. Car keys are the weakest link in the car security chain and should be guarded like cash".

The AA advises motorists to give themselves more time on frosty mornings to de-ice the car using a scraper rather than leaving the engine running and risk having the car stolen.

Leaving the car running may also break the law. A motorist has been fined £30 for defrosting his car outside his home because he left it unattended with the engine running. The police warn it is also an offence to leave a car unattended with the engine running on the public highway.

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04 December 2008