Beware the latest crime sweeping the UK: Hanoi burglary
In recent years, burglars have discovered a far easier way of stealing greater value from a burglary. Burglars have come to realise that it is not what’s inside the property that is worth the most money, but rather what is sitting in the driveway, or indeed, nearby under a lamppost now that keyless entry makes cars easier to find! Whether a car is being used as a getaway, or as the target of the burglary itself, car theft is becoming more and more prominent in police reports.
Generally, burglary refers to when a trespasser enters a building to steal property from within that building. However, Hanoi burglary – which is often otherwise referred to as ‘2-in-1 burglary’ or ‘car key burglary’ – involves the theft of a car during a burglary; sometimes stolen in order to hold stolen property taken from the building. These types of burglars tend to opportunistically choose houses with an expensive car on full view outside a home.
Burglars often do not even have to make a forced entry as they are able to take full advantage of open windows and unsecured doors; reaching items to steal with relative ease. Often, householders are none the wiser when it comes to detecting whether or not a burglary of this kind has even taken place.
Over the last 8 years, there has been a considerable rise in the number of Hanoi burglaries; with a particularly rapid spate in the last few months. In most of the south of England, vehicle crime and burglary are the second and third most common crimes, coming behind only anti-social behaviour. These frequent, and yet often unknown crimes, demonstrate how much of a national problem Hanoi burglaries have become.
Police and motor insurance companies have cottoned on quickly to this lesser-known crime. Detective Inspector Dean McIntyre of Calderdale Police emphasised how: “There are plenty of simple steps motorists can take to prevent becoming a victim of Hanoi-style burglaries… parking your car in a garage if possible, keeping car keys out of view and easy reach, locking doors and windows, and using a wheel clamp.”
Hampshire Police also advise keeping valuable property hidden from view and making sure that lights are left on at various times, to give the impression that someone is home. In addition to this, particular emphasis is placed upon the need for reliable and effective house alarms, secure door locks, windows containing locks and CCTV systems in place, where possible.
The wider community are also doing their best to raise awareness and encourage their neighbours to take reasonable precautions where possible. West Mercian drivers have previously taken part in Operation Decibel; a scheme that was specifically designed to reduce the prevalence of car key theft.