One of the perceived easy targets is the faithful spare, a high-value item, which can be liberated in seconds if not fitted with a proper anti-theft device. With a 17- or 18-inch tyre an alloy rim the de-fault size and with a replacement value sometimes in the five-digit territory, leaving it unprotected is unwise
Manuel Reis, managing director of mechanical anti-theft specialists, Grip-Tech, says the problem doesn’t end with the financial loss, however: “In most instances, drivers of pick-ups don’t even realise the spare is gone until they need it. That occasion will in most instances already be an emergency – or at the very least an inconvenience, along with the loss of a no-claim bonus.”
Under-slung spares are normally secured with a cable or chain arrangement, a crank handle then used to lower it to the ground. Thieves simply cut the cable or break the chain and the wheel drops free. Few manufacturers fit a suitably robust locking device as standard and an aftermarket product is a must-have rather than a nice-to-have, says Reis, a mechanical engineer who has specialised in wheel protection solutions for more than two decades.