Security Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 22–32

Cars Stolen in Burglaries: The Sandwell Experience

  • Susan Donkin
  • Melanie Wellsmith

DOI: 10.1057/

Cite this article as:
Donkin, S. & Wellsmith, M. Secur J (2006) 19: 22. doi:10.1057/


There has been an increasing interest in the emerging trend of stealing cars using keys taken during a burglary. This paper examines the issue through analysis of West Midlands Police data from 1998 to 2004 for the Borough of Sandwell. It finds evidence not only of an increase in cars stolen in burglaries, but also that the main purpose of over half of the burglaries in which a car was stolen was to steal the vehicle. Eighty per cent of cars were stolen with keys taken in the burglary and the average age of cars stolen in burglaries was approximately half that of cars stolen in vehicle crimes, indicating that cars with immobilizers are being targeted in burglaries.


domestic burglaryvehicle crimemodus operandiimmobilizerkeys

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Donkin
    • 1
  • Melanie Wellsmith
    • 1
  1. 1.Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College LondonLondonU.K.