This message is dated Thursday 7th April 2022 - the Whole Area
Alert message sent 07/04/2022 14:41:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
This message went out in Bracknell re car crimes, but it is very well put:
Most car crime is preventable. The best way to protect your car and belongings within it, is to lock your car whenever you leave it.
Unfortunately, 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. Thieves can utilise electronic relay boosters, to enhance the fob signal, in order to get into and start a car without causing any damage.
Keyless entry and ignition, works by the car's key fob, constantly emitting an electronic signal, which is picked up by a receiver in the car. When the two are in proximity, the car will open and start. If you own such a car and leave your key within 30’ of the outside, a thief can use a relay, to boost the signal to the car, which will then open the doors and start the engine.
Generally, the further the fob is from the car, the car will not detect it – hence the use of relay boosters.
Whenever you are at home, if you leave your car nearby outside, with the fob near to the external walls, doors or windows, an offender can pick up the signal on a hand held scanner, which then be boosts the signal to your car, allowing an apparently secure car, to be entered and stolen off the driveway, in less than a minute. In recent weeks there has been a spate of such thefts right across the area and police enquiries are ongoing.
A simple way of preventing your key’s signal being picked up by a thief, is to store your key in a 'Faraday Pouch', when the car is not being driven. These are very inexpensive and easily obtainable. Faraday cages, are built into microwaves, to prevent microwaves escaping, on the same principle. They are also available in the form of ladies purses and now handbags ! If you don't have one - store the fob in your fridge ! I used to say in your microwave, until someone forgot it was there, put their dinner inside to cook - and everything blew up !!!!!
Other things you can do to deter thieves breaking into your car include:
Don’t leave anything on display / 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.
Do not leave loose change in the centre console / sunglasses on the dashboard
Make sure a sun roof and the windows are actually closed.
Take all electrical devices out of the car – particularly laptops / mobile phones etc.
Utilise one of the highly visible yellow steering wheel locks.
Purchase an ‘Apple Airtag’ and hide it somewhere in the car.
If you have one of the high value cars regularly stolen, think about having a 3rd party tracking system installed – the thieves will not know it is there and therefore fail to disable it.
If you have seen anything suspicious, have any video doorbell / 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 system 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.
Also whilst driving in the UK, you do not need to have your driving documents with you, so there is no reason to 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/>
Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.