POLICE have issued a warning to drivers of Land Rover Sports after nine were taken in the space of a month from properties outside properties in North Worcestershire.
It follows on from a similar warning issued to the drivers of keyless vehicles after a similar spate of thefts which West Mercia Police say are linked.
Such is the severity of the thefts, drivers are being urged to consider installing Ring doorbells and CCTV as an extra deterrent, along with the usual precautions, such as steering locks or wheel clamps to prevent cars from being driven away.
Police have stepped up patrols in areas officers believed to have been targeted and will be offering car crime prevention advice.
Insp 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.”
He urged anyone witnessing suspicious behaviour near vehicles to report it to police on 101 and anyone with information on vehicle thefts or those involved to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
West Mercia Police have warned keyless car drivers to keep fobs as far away from doors and windows as they can and in a metal or foil-lined box or container.
The signals to some fobs can be switched off when people are not using their vehicle with instructions how to do that in the car’s manual.
Other steps include installing cars’ latest software updates,, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in the local area and having an after-market immobiliser or tracker fitted.
Visit westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/ for more information.