Stolen satnav guides thieves to owner's home

Police have warned drivers not to leave their journey home programmed into their satnav systems following the theft of a device from a car at Alton Towers theme park which directed ne'er-do-wells to the owner's Shropshire home where they promptly made off with a £20k Saab convertible.

According to the Telegraph, West Mercia Constabulary's Det Sgt Chris Walsh, said: "If your car is broken into, particularly if you have an in-built satnav as part of the dashboard, all the offenders have to do is search for 'home' or similar and it will take them right to the door of your empty residence.

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News source: The Reg

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There was an Entourage episode where Ari got the wrong Lexus and wanted to find his. He asked the valets to find out who got his car and they told him why don't you use the gps in wrong Lexus to go to its owners house and get right Lexus. That gave me a good chuckle but just think of all those people that give the keys to their expensive cars with gps to valets.

Yea, LIVE IN TERROR and don't forget to buy the invisible car wich comes with the free invisible cloak because thieves can follow you.

Pip'

Hmm...people breaking into your car and stealing. Is there anything else in your car that might have your current address on it? Possibly written on paper even?

Ned said,
Hmm...people breaking into your car and stealing. Is there anything else in your car that might have your current address on it? Possibly written on paper even?

lol

I think everyone here is missing a big DUH!... in that your car's registration... which you have to have in the car in case you are pulled over also has your home address. The GPS device just makes it easier for the crooks to find yoru place.

In Britain it is not a requirement to have those documents in the car. If you are pulled over and need to produce them, you are given 48 hours to go to your local police station.

olly86 said,
In Britain it is not a requirement to have those documents in the car. If you are pulled over and need to produce them, you are given 48 hours to go to your local police station.

Nope, you are given 7 days, as i have just had to produce my documents.

Umm.. Your home address will most likely be on the car's registration, not to mention other things you have in your car. The navigation system does make it easier, but if a thief wanted to know where you lived it wouldn't be that hard to find it without one.

Really. If a person can't find their way home after getting to their town (or even county) they really shouldn't be out driving around.

TRC said,
Really. If a person can't find their way home after getting to their town (or even county) they really shouldn't be out driving around.

And what if you've just moved as I have?

I've moved a lot, but I never needed a satellite navigation system to find my way home. Maybe I have a good sense of direction or something.

Pressing "Go home" on mine only goes to a nearby road and not the actuall address

Besides its still set to my old address anyway

QuarterSwede said,
That's a fantastic idea. Thanks.

Actually I just recently replaced my sat-nav with a new model on the new one i just set it to my home town and not the actuall address.

Since I know where to go to get to my house once i get into my home town but of course the theif probably wont ;)

Besides which my new one comes up with my name and mobile Num then asks for a code to unlock it.
(didn't put my address in for secuirty reasons)


I dunno about all the other tomtoms but on the tomtom one you can set a pin code by using their pc software.

Why didn't they just go and steal any other car anyway?

why did they need to steal the GPS and then think "we'll go to their home..." and then "we'll steal the car cos they're out"

... seems like they went the long way round. :s

No?

Hmmmm... Maybe it's easier to break into a house than into and hot wire a newish car?

If there was no one home they would be able to search for the keys for other cars easily enough....

Back when I had my Skyline there were lots of posts on the owners forums about houses being broken into and keys stolen as the cars were so secure and hard to steal

It's quite a simple rule: don't leave expensive stuff in plain view in your car, especially when you leave your car unattended in a massive car park for about 7 hours.
That aside, anybody who needs sat-nav to get from Shropshire to Staffordshire doesn't deserve to have a 20k Saab anyway. Get a map and then notice the signs that start about 30 miles away that say "Alton Towers -->". Alternatively, use any online map that includes routes.

mrbester said,
It's quite a simple rule: don't leave expensive stuff in plain view in your car, especially when you leave your car unattended in a massive car park for about 7 hours.
That aside, anybody who needs sat-nav to get from Shropshire to Staffordshire doesn't deserve to have a 20k Saab anyway. Get a map and then notice the signs that start about 30 miles away that say "Alton Towers -->". Alternatively, use any online map that includes routes.

"If your car is broken into, particularly if you have an in-built satnav as part of the dashboard"
Maybe if you read what was said, it'd be a bit clearer.
Just because you have sat nav in your car, doesnt mean you used to to get to where you are. Some people will leave it in the boot or glove box, but if its in the car, they can possibly use it to find your home address.

illmonkey said,
"If your car is broken into, particularly if you have an in-built satnav as part of the dashboard"
Maybe if you read what was said, it'd be a bit clearer.

The bit I read (see above) says, quite clearly:
...following the theft of a device

Perhaps that sentence implies the stuck-on-the-dashboard type. Also, it never says (either above or in the linked full story) that the "device" in question was in-built, further implying that it wasn't.

The next time you decide to jump on someone's apparent miscomprehension, try and have a decent argument to support your case.

mrbester said,

The bit I read (see above) says, quite clearly:

Perhaps that sentence implies the stuck-on-the-dashboard type. Also, it never says (either above or in the linked full story) that the "device" in question was in-built, further implying that it wasn't.

The next time you decide to jump on someone's apparent miscomprehension, try and have a decent argument to support your case.


I think it's absolutely obvious they are referring to the mobile ones (ex. Garmin Streetpilot/Nuvi, etc.). Maybe it's just more obvious to us in the US.

I have a Renault Laguna, but all the electronics including the built-in sat nav require the key card to be inserted into the dashboard before they will activate. Dunno how easy this is to hack though, but I would imagine it's harder than just having a regular key that they can hot-wire.

Hey, don't call people dumb, especially when asking a question that make YOU look dumb. There are plenty of reasons why you would have your Home location programmed in. The main one being so you can find your way home if you are at the other side of the country or somewhere else unfamiliar.

Oh i don't know, it's not about being dumb. People are being daft if they leave the prorable units in the car.

The fact that they give you an ETA for the journey and more importantly if you have it setup to remind you of speed cameras

I find them very handy, although my home takes me through the village, I live in to a cross roads in the middle of nowhere.

olly86 said,
As if this wasn't common sense in the first place.

Many GPS makers already suggested to set your home to a "close but not exact" position in their manuals.