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Are you afraid of frost-jackers?

It’s so tempting. You venture out to your car on a dark and frosty morning, switch on the engine and then head back into the kitchen for an extra cup of tea. Ten minutes later, the engine has warmed up, the windscreen has defrosted, and you’re ready to zip off to work.

More than 40 per cent of drivers admit to leaving their cars unattended with the engine running in order to defrost the windscreen, according to new research from comparison site

But leaving a car unattended with the engine running, and even the key in the ignition, poses an obvious risk. A nimble-footed opportunist thief may find the temptation impossible to resist. And such thefts, over in a few minutes, can have serious, even fatal consequences – witness the recent tragic death of Manchester mum Lynda Hankey, callously run over by a thief who had jumped into her car after she left it running outside her home.

Stealing defrosting cars is known, appropriately enough, as ‘frost-jacking’ – and while the risks may seem obvious, the uSwitch research reveals that 16 per cent of motorists admit to leaving vehicles unattended even though they are worried about theft, and a significant 41 per cent think that simply watching the vehicle from inside their homes is enough to prevent it being stolen.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent said they had not even considered the possibility of unattended cars being stolen.

In the words of the website’s Mark Monteiro: “Leaving your car unlocked with the engine running is an open invitation to opportunist thieves.”


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