Beware beach-goers with ulterior motives is the message from insurance company State as New Zealanders get ready to hit the beaches this summer.
Research conducted in conjunction with IAG into claims data for all New Zealand over the last five years to 30 June revealed that almost half (45 per cent) of all vehicle thefts from beaches occurred between midday and 6pm, while for thefts away from the beach this figure reduced to less than one quarter (24 per cent) in the same time period.
Ruth Colenso, State’s General Manager Claims, said the findings highlighted that opportunistic thieves weren’t interested in a having a holiday while at the beach.
“Many people choose to head to their favourite beach to help relax over the summer months but we would encourage them not to relax their approach to keeping their car and personal belongings secure,” she said.
Accidentally dropped car keys, a stolen bag with car keys inside, and car keys left on a wheel arch were just some of the ways thieves made off with cars while their owners enjoyed a spell at the seas side.
State’s Claims Technical Specialist Chris Kiddey said it was important to take some common sense steps to keep your car secure.
“Where possible, park in a public area so that any potential thief will have to worry about being caught red-handed. And most thefts are opportunistic: the car with the open window or unlocked door is the easiest target, so make sure you do a quick check particularly if you have kids with you who may have forgotten to lock their door”.
State also revealed that the top three most common car models to be stolen from beaches were the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Primera and Mazda Demio.
To help keep your car keys and other belongings safe this summer, State is providing temporary beach lockers available for hire by gold coin donation to Surf Life Savings Clubs at several beaches over January and February.