Frozen car? Don’t ‘Let It Go’!

Sharp-witted police have sent a reminder to drivers to prevent themselves falling victim to winter theft by borrowing lyrics from Disney smash-hit Frozen.

Teesside’s Cleveland Police sent a festive-themed Tweet out this week as a warning to drivers leaving themselves vulnerable to ‘frosting’, where thieves steal unattended cars that drivers leave running to defrost.

The Tweet said: “When it’s FROZEN, thieves will get their HANS on cars left unattended with their engines running. Don’t be the one to LET IT GO.”

Opportunist crime

As well as giving drivers a good “OLAF”, the Tweet sent a valuable message to motorists who are tempted to leave their engines running unattended on the cold winter mornings.

Chief Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon said: “We would urge people not to leave their vehicles unattended with the engines running, even just to pop into the house for a moment.

“With the arrival of the cold weather which is going to be with us over the next few months, please keep in mind that it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to steal your vehicle.

“It is all too easy for an opportunist thief to take advantage and it may mean that you can’t make an insurance claim. Don’t be left out in the cold by thieves.”

66,000 thefts

Frosting, or frost jacking, is nothing new in the UK either; research from Sainsbury’s finance has shown that an average 66,000 cars in Britain are stolen every year due to opportunistic thieves.

It’s not just a problem due to the loss of a car either, as many insurance providers will refuse to pay out as losing your car when it’s unattended is often specifically excluded from insurance policies.

Police may also prosecute motorists who’ve had their cars stolen while unattended with the engine running, as it violates a section of the Highway Code regarding proper control of a vehicle.

As the Cleveland force said, the best way to avoid becoming a victim of frost jacking is simply to avoid leaving your car unattended with the key in the ignition while you’re defrosting.

It can also be handy to keep a bottle of anti-freeze or hand sanitizer and an ice scraper in your car at all times, so you never get caught out on a cold morning.