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Keyless Car Theft

Alert message sent 07/04/2022 11:10:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


Most vehicle crime is preventable. The best way to protect your vehicle and belongings within it, is to lock your car whenever you leave it.
Unfortunately though some cars are so attractive to thieves that simply locking the doors isn’t a total deterrent. Modern cars that have keyless entry and ignition systems are proving to be a particular target, as thieves can utilise electronic scanners to copy and mimic the vehicle’s actual key in order to get into and start a car without causing any damage.
Keyless entry and ignition works by the vehicle's key fob constantly transmitting an electronic signal which can be picked up by a receiver in the car when the two get close to each other. If you own such a car and leave your key within range anyone can open the doors and start the engine.
Generally taking the key further away from the car will stop the signal been detected by the car.
When at home if you leave your car outside and the car key near to the external walls, doors or windows an offender can pick up the signal on a hand held scanner which can then be transmitted or boosted to your car, allowing an apparently secure vehicle to be entered and stolen off the driveway. In recent weeks there has been a spate of such thefts in the Bracknell area, and police enquiries are ongoing.
If you have seen anything suspicious, have any CCTV or Dashcam footage of suspects, or know anything about these thefts please report this information to police by dialling 101 or using the Thames Valley Police on line reporting portal found on their website at www.thamesvalley.police.uk
If you want to remain anonymous or don’t want to speak to the police you can pass any relevant information via the independent charity Crimestoppers  on 0800 555 111 free of charge.

A simple way of preventing your key’s signal leaking out and been picked up by a thief is to store your key in a tin. If you would want a more attractive solution there are specially made pouches to put the key in when not driving.
Other things you can do to deter thieves breaking into your car include;
  • Don’t leave anything in view within your car, don’t even leave a jacket where it can be seen, thieves will be prepared to break in to see if you’ve left your wallet in a pocket.
  • Make sure sun roof and windows are actually closed.
  • Take removable stereos and sat navs or other electrical devices out of the car.
  • Utilise an overt physical steering wheel lock.
Also whilst driving in the UK you do not need to have your driving documents with you, so there is no reason to ever leave the cars registration document (log book), insurance, MOT  or Driving Licence in the car. If stolen they could prove to be a goldmine to the thief or a fraudster .

For more advice on how to keep your vehicle safe, visit the Thames Valley Police website <www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-home-and-belongings/vehicle-crime/>
 
Message sent by
Jon Morris (Police, Administrator, Bracknell)

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