Cable Guys Spark New Crime Wave

Sat 26th Feb 2022

Electric vehicle owners are being warned that car thieves have them in their sights with a new crime wave moving fast across the UK.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, scrap metal dealers are seeing a huge increase in enquiries as to how much they would pay for a car charge cable. It’s thought that the expensive copper in the 15ft cables could have a value of £50, but replacing a cable when stolen could cost as much as £700 dependent on the model of car and charger.

The car charge cables are an easy target for the thieves, as many vehicles are left unattended whilst the EV is being charged, and while scrap metal dealers may be suspicious of buying the cables, there is a growing trade online.

“All a thief needs to do is unlock a latch when a car is on charge and take the cable. It is straightforward,” Andrew Gillespie managing director of EV Cable Shop told The Daily Mail.

“Even if the cable is locked into the car and charger – known as being 'tethered' – it will not stop criminals having a go at wrenching it out or trying to knock it out with a tool such as a club hammer.

“Electric car owners do not immediately think about the value of their chargers or why they should be kept safe under lock and key.”

There are security solutions, with many manufacturers offering a heavy-duty plastic sleeve chain which has to be padlocked to wheel spokes, but the RAC suggests that car owners should never leave their vehicle unattended while charging.

“Charging cables are going to be high on the list for opportunist thieves as they are expensive and demand will soar as motorists turn to electric vehicles. When charging a car in public, it is always better to stay by the car rather than wander away,” said a spokesman from the RAC.

The value of metals within vital car parts has been highlighted in the last 12 months with the sharp increase in catalytic convertor thefts, with elements such as platinum, rhodium and palladium a big target for opportunistic thieves who can remove the convertor within minutes.