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Crime prevention advice following theft of cars advertised for sale online

Alert message sent 25/08/2021 16:20:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

Afternoon everyone,

We just wanted to remind you of some crime prevention advice following a couple of reports we’ve received in Hampshire of vehicle theft after a car has been listed for sale online.

In both instances, one of which took place in Basingstoke and one in Portsmouth, the victim had listed their car for sale on classified advert website Gumtree and a viewing with a potential buyer was arranged.

Two men then attended the viewing, one of which spoke to the seller while the other looked around the vehicle. On both occasions the vehicle was stolen later that night.

Enquiries are ongoing into the Portsmouth incident, but we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few simple steps in order to protect yourself when selling a vehicle online.

We’d also like to hear from anyone who has been the victim of similar incidents or has noticed any suspicious behaviour when advertising or selling a vehicle online.

• Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t seem right, walk away from it.

• Where possible, try to arrange a first meeting in a safe, public place rather than giving the buyer your home address.

• If possible, research the buyer and their bidding history or any reviews they have.

• Ensure your property is secure at all times – make sure your rear fencing is in good repair, lock side gates/windows and doors, remembering to double lock UPVC doors by lifting the handle and turning the key.

• Keep all keys out of reach and sight from the letterbox.

• Consider installing security lighting and a burglar alarm if possible.

• You can also mark your property with your postcode and house number – register it for free with www.immobilise.com.

For more information about crime prevention, visit www.hampshire.police.uk.

Please report anything suspicious to us by phoning 101, or 999 in an emergency. 
Message sent by
Danielle Butler (Police, Communications Officer, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)

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