January 5, 2012

Any parents of young daughters ensnared in the formulaically cynical money-making excuse for children’s fiction that is the never-ending Rainbow Fairies/Flower Fairies/Jewel Fairies production line will already be well aware that Jack Frost is by no means entirely a force for good in this world.

But when best friends Rachel and Kirsty go on holiday with their families to Cowley Business Park near Uxbridge Middlesex they are shocked to learn from Terry the Tracker Fairy that Jack Frost and his goblin minions are bent on nicking cars left unattended with their engines running on cold winter mornings.

In the forthcoming Car Thief Thwarting Fairies heptalogy, each slim volume of which is available at all good bookstores for a very reasonable £3.99, we learn how Terry the Tracker Fairy, Victor the Vehicle Recovery Fairy and all their other tediously enumerated friends use their magical powers to thwart Jack Frost and his goblin sidekicks and their so-called Frost Jacking antics.

Or, if you insist on having it more prosaically, Bankstone News can exclusively reveal that we read something in Fleet News this week suggesting that vehicle recovery specialists Tracker are warning motorists to beware the threat of Frost Jacking (see, we didn’t make it all up!)

“Our research,” claims Tracker’s Stuart Chapman (not actually a fairy to the best of our knowledge) “shows that thieves are opportunists and look out for cars on frosty mornings, shopping around for the most popular makes and models, as temperatures start to drop” then pounce when unsuspecting owners wander off leaving the keys in their defrosting motors.

Tracker claim that 84% of the vehicles they recover were taken using the owners’ own keys. But leaving your car at the mercy of frosty opportunists is not just stupid, Stu reveals, it invalidates your insurance and could even land you in trouble with the Old Bill. “Many drivers don’t realise,” he notes, “that police may prosecute them if their car is stolen while unattended with the engine running.”

Technically, this is true, and fixed penalty fines have indeed been levied on those found guilty of the offence of “quitting” a vehicle with keys in. Amounting to just £20 or £30, however, such fines are mild in comparison with proposed £500 fines facing inattentive husbands who allow their wives to “stray” or upwards of £1000 for those apprehended reading a bunch of ridiculous old nonsense in a publication like Bankstone News.

“Would you leave an open briefcase containing £30,000 cash or more on your driveway?” Stu enquires with a bold rhetorical flourish. In Bankstone News’ case the apposite question would be more along the lines of: “Would you leave a battered old duffle bag containing a handful of crumpled tenners… ?” But probably, no, we wouldn’t, now that you come to mention it. Though we did once leave a sports bag on a bus.

There was also a bit in there somewhere about how you could always fit a tracking device in case it turns out you’re too stupid or lazy (or just plain unlucky) to avoid getting your car nicked. But Bankstone News thinks we’ve all had enough Frost Jacking for now. Don’t you?!


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