Protecting Your Car Against Theft Online


GTLVR82

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#1
The best way to prevent theft of your car is, obviously, not post it online but noone here is going to do that. That being said I made a quick tutorial on how to block off your license plate using Paint. I HIGHLY recommend doing this for all your shots where your plate is exposed. I can't even begin to count how many cars have been stolen on other popular Honda forums because they posted pics with their license. Without further ado here is the tutorial:



1. Open Paint! (this version is windows 7)
2. Find and open the pic you intend to blank out.
3. click the square in the "Shapes" section. This should be similar for all Paint versions
4. Make sure it is a solid fill. If not you can create the box and fill it with the overflowing bucket. Pick a color that fits the car.
5. Save the picture and double check that the black fill stayed and host and post!

Very simple process! If you have any questions with regards to Photoshop lemme know. I have to reinstall it to give a tutorial but I can if needed.
 


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#2
yes , the owners should take every step avaliable to them to protect their car and put as many obstacles as they can for the thief to try to steal the car.
 


EK9dan

B18C-R EK9
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#3
I used to do this then thought one day what the hell is the point! I drive the car all the time at all sorts of meets on road etc where everyone can see the number plate anyway. So why hide it on net..........

You dont need a number plate to steal a car. In fact the number plate is completely irrelevant.

But each to their own, if it makes ya feel better then by all means :)
 


Matt-EK9

ex EK9 owner
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#4
Nice advice GTLVR82 I have heard about people cloneing cars using plates seen on the internet.

Even easier than that when you upload to photo bucket use the edit tool and just swirl the plate up a bit. I recently did mine for a bit of piece of mind.

Having said that I totally agree with Dans point anyway. Anyone can take a photo of your car parked up on the street and post it up without you knowing but what can you do really.
 

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GTLVR82

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#5
I agree, or at least understand, all the points of view you all have posted. However, you should take the steps within your power to ensure that, at least, the pictures you take are safe. Not all the thieves are as proactive about driving around. These guys are generally young teenagers to young (early 20's) adults and they don't necessarily have enough funds to scope out cars by driving around. At the very least you can say that web forums dedicated to a specific type or model of car would be a much easier way for a thief to locate and identify cars they want to steal. If you can limit that exposure than you're doing yourself a favor.
 




Lee s

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#8
LOL Would love to see someone pinch my car, its protected my 2 blokes with assault rifles!
 


oifovo

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#9
What I personally think is more important: DO NOT post pictures taken somewhere where the car normally parks, being it your driveway or company car park. It may be easy enough for someone to identify the area. I spotted another 9 the other day and I couldn't resist, so I parked up my 9 next to it and took a quick snap, but I would never post it up here, cause I don't know whether the other car was there by chance, or whether it lives there :) And the last thing I want is someone's car being stolen because of me!
 



Topher-EK9

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#11
where i live this is not a problem in fact i'd say in ENGLAND it is not a problem..

also how can you search where a car is kept by its registration.. no member of the public can check an address of a registered keeper just from a registration number... its called the data proctection act!!!!!!.. well in england it is anyway.


here is what the DVLA say about it.

"Release of another vehicle s keeper details

You can obtain the name and address of the registered keeper of a vehicle if you can show reasonable cause for needing the information.

Members of the public will need to complete form V888. Companies can either complete form VQ3 or apply in writing giving full details of the reason for the enquiry and the vehicle registration mark. Both forms are available from DVLA.

The fee for information at a specific date of event is 2.50 per vehicle. If further information is required, for instance, a copy of a document or additional keeper information, a fee of 5 is required per vehicle.

Send your application to: Vehicle Record Enquiries, Vehicle Customer Services, DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AJ.

It is an offence to unlawfully obtain personal data which is contrary to Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Unlimited fines in the Crown Court (or to a maximum of 5,000 in the Magistrates Court) exist as penalties in respect of these offences."


note you have to give YOUR details to do it, and so a thief would not do this if he has any sense. as it'd be pretty obvious what has happened..

so basically it CANNOT BE DONE !!!!!!!!

try it for my car if you want.. my reg is on this site.. but you'll have no luck.
 

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Cipriani

No smoke no poke!
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#12
I used to do this then thought one day what the hell is the point! I drive the car all the time at all sorts of meets on road etc where everyone can see the number plate anyway. So why hide it on net..........

You dont need a number plate to steal a car. In fact the number plate is completely irrelevant.

But each to their own, if it makes ya feel better then by all means :)
I agree I never associated number plates with car theft just car cloning.
 


thunderboy

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#13
Thread revival I know.. but it's a sticky... so what the hell..

:)



where i live this is not a problem in fact i'd say in ENGLAND it is not a problem..

You can obtain the name and address of the registered keeper of a vehicle if you can show reasonable cause for needing the information.
So.. someone could realistically lie right?

Companies can either complete form VQ3 or apply in writing giving full details of the reason for the enquiry and the vehicle registration mark. Both forms are available from DVLA
So if they masqueraded as say, a parking enforcement operation, they could reasonably get a hold of this?

The fee for information at a specific date of event is 2.50 per vehicle.
Ok this might discourage them.. Thieves arent smart enough [generally] to calculate the potential for the ROI [return on investement] of £2.50 for the 1000's they'd make in stolen parts. + I dont think the DVLA accepts a GIRO as a form of payment..

It is an offence to unlawfully obtain personal data.....
They are about to steal your car.. I'm not sure this additional crime is going to concern them too much.. Like shooting someone is an offence, but maybe I wont murder someone because unlawful possession of a firearm might get me in trouble? ;)

note you have to give YOUR details to do it
Does the DVLA representative launch an investigation into the requestor? to verify them? probably not.. so the criminal could lie.. imagine that

thief would not do this if he has any sense.
'he' doesn't have any..

so basically it CANNOT BE DONE !!!!!!!!
I think basically, it can..
 


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#14
Thread revival I know.. but it's a sticky... so what the hell..
Yup.
So.. someone could realistically lie right?
Tricky. Proving "reasonable cause" is actually quite difficult, because the DVLA is quite suspicious of anything to do with revealing personal data. You'd probably need to provide proof of identity of some kind. That won't put everybody off, but it will raise the barrier as in order to have any kind of reasonable shot at getting away with it you'd need to be committing identity theft and adding additional fraud offences to your rap sheet if you get caught.
So if they masqueraded as say, a parking enforcement operation, they could reasonably get a hold of this?
They'd need to either be employed by a legit parking enforcement operation or have successfully stolen the identity of someone who is in order to pull that off. All parking enforcement companies (incluuding private enforcement) have to be registered with the Government and adhere to a bunch of regulations these days.
Ok this might discourage them.. Thieves arent smart enough [generally] to calculate the potential for the ROI [return on investement] of £2.50 for the 1000's they'd make in stolen parts. + I dont think the DVLA accepts a GIRO as a form of payment..
Snarky comments aside, thieves are smart enough to make risk/reward calculations on most of the things they do. Anything in their way that increases either their risk of getting caught or the penalty if they do get caught is likely to deter a potential car thief, if only a little.

remember, someone who's looking at thieving a Civic isn't going to be a high-risk type, if they were that type they'd be after something fancier. This is most likely just someone who fancies himself as a breaker but doesn't have the startup cash.
They are about to steal your car.. I'm not sure this additional crime is going to concern them too much.. Like shooting someone is an offence, but maybe I wont murder someone because unlawful possession of a firearm might get me in trouble? ;)
You'd be surprised how risk-averse a lot of low-level criminals are. You do get high-risk thrill-seekers who go after big scores and damn the torpedoes, but I would put it to you that such a gentleman is unlikely to be stting his sights so low as a Civic. Not to be rude about Civics, I love mine as much as the next guy, but they aren't exactly million-dollar cars now are they? The main attraction in nicking a Civic is that it's probably about three or four grand in bits (more in some cases, I know) and the car's old enough that its built-in security isn't all that hard to bypass. It's the low risk rather than the high reward that attracts thieves, if you see what I mean.

I would suggest that your Civic is more at risk from someone who already knows where it is because they've seen it in person than it is from anyone online. Especially if you make sure to put good security features on it and make sure you let people know about them when you post it online.
Does the DVLA representative launch an investigation into the requestor? to verify them? probably not.. so the criminal could lie.. imagine that
They'll check the request comes from a real person, if they claim to be a company they'll check that's real and that the person you claim to be actually works for that company, they'll try to verify the requestor's ID as far as is practical and if your car gets nicked they'll hand all of that info over to the Police. It's not a very high barrier, I'll grant you, but it adds more to the risk side of the equation that the potential thief has to go through before nicking your stuff.
'he' doesn't have any..
On the contrary, thieves are every bit as intelligent as everybody else. They're scum, don't get me wrong, but being a festering boil on the backside of humanity doesn't necessarily make you any stupider.
I think basically, it can..
You're correct in that it can be done, but the risk inherent in doing so is more than most criminals will be willing to chance for the potential reward of an old Civic.

What is in fact a more serious risk is that someone will clone your numberplate onto another car like a Cat D write off or a cut 'n' shut in order to try to sell it on for much more than it is actually worth, or to hide their own lack of insurance or avoid speeding fines.

That is a valid reason to hide your reg plate online. Worrying about theft, you're setting the bar too high in my opinion.
 



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#16
Good points well put
Thank you- I do my best.

It is worth being aware of the dangers of cloning, mind you- two of my friends have received speeding tickets they never earned due to people with similar cars copying their number plates, one in a Defender and one in an Octavia VRS.

It's worth noting that the Defender was a numbered, limited edition model that was sold on a couple of years after the cloning incident for somewhere in the region of 50K; it was probably cloned based on its appearance in Land Rover World magazine the month before. It wasn't stolen at any point; the bar to theft is much higher than the bar to cloning.

The VRS was very very tasty as well, but that's another story for another time.
 


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