A WARNING has been issued to drivers in North Worcestershire after a spate of thefts and attempted thefts of keyless vehicles.
Police have now increased patrols in the areas which have been targeted in a bid to prevent further thefts.
Inspector Lee Page said while keyless entry cars and vans were convenient to the owner they could be accessed easily by criminals if precautions were not taken.
Thieves can use cheap and available devices to ‘read’ the signal needed to open and start the car and then, once they have it, can take the vehicle.
He urged motorists with keyless cars to use a ‘Faraday Pouch’ which have a lining of metal foil to prevent the signal being captured.
Drivers are also urged to use a physical steering lock or similar device to act as a deterrent as thieves will be unable to drive the vehicle away.
Insp Page added: “While there is much the public can do to protect their own property I would like to reassure everyone that we are working hard to catch those responsible and we have several investigations ongoing.
“Much of our intelligence comes from concerned members of the public who may have seen people hanging around, acting suspiciously.
“Please, if you see anyone acting suspiciously near your car or your property, call us on 101 and let us know.”
West Mercia Police have warned drivers of keyless cars to keep their fobs as far away from doors and windows as they can, keep them in foil-lined or metal box or container.
Some fobs enable the key’s wireless signal to be switched off when people are not using their vehicle – the information can be found in the car’s manual.
As Insp Page mentioned, steering locks or even wheel clamps can be used to ensure the car cannot be driven away. Many thieves will consider this as ‘too much hassle’.
Other steps include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in the local area and having an aftermarket immobiliser or tracker fitted.
Visit westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/ for more information.
Anyone with information on vehicle thefts or those involved should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.