Thieves go to the beach as well

SGIC is urging South Australian beachgoers to secure their car at the beach with claims data showing it’s a popular spot for thieves to target*.

SGIC spokesperson Tracy Woodley said beachgoers should take extra care with their car security and belongings when at the beach.

“Summer is a time for relaxing but not everyone on the sand is there to chill out. We don’t want thieves spoiling beach-goers' holidays or weekends.

“Thieves are opportunistic and it only takes a few minutes for someone to step away from their car or gear for a swim for a thief to swipe their valuables and car keys,” said Ms Woodley.

Past SGIC research has shown that the most popular places for hiding valuables on the beach were obvious locations such as in a shoe or sock (52 per cent) or towel (42 per cent)**.

Ms Woodley added that with the majority of cars using a remote key entry, it’s simple for a thief to head to the car park and press the button, look at which car responds and drive away.

“We urge all beachgoers to stay alert while enjoying a day at the beach,” Ms Woodley said.

SGIC recommends the following tips for beachgoers.

  • Don’t be tempted to leave your keys in a hiding spot on your vehicle - thieves know them all;
  • Don’t leave your keys unattended on the sand while you swim - take turns with someone to ensure your belongings are protected at all times;
  • Use your service or spare non electronic key when you go to the beach and store it in a secure pocket in your boardshorts or wetsuit when swimming;
  • Always lock your car when leaving it unattended;
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle; and
  • Alarms can attract attention to your vehicle and scare off a thief.

* Based on SGIC motor claims for FY 2008 to 2010/11.

** Based on research by Pure Profile in January 2010.