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Keyless car thefts

Alert message sent 01/06/2022 13:14:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


Unfortunately during the past week 5 cars equipped with electronic keyless entry and igniton have been stolen from private driveways across the South East area of Wokingham and north Crowthorne areas.
Overnight Sunday 29 to Monday 30 May;
  •  a black BMW 5300XD  registration **17FSN  was stolen from the driveway of a property in Starmead Drive, Wokingham Rg40 2JA.
Overnight Monday 30 to Tuesday 31 May;
  •  a white BMW  registration **17YUC was stolen from a driveway in Windsor Crescent, Wokingham RG40 1GN.
  • a black BMW M2 registration **70XXJ was stolen from a driveway in Duchess Close Crowthorne RG45 6LR
  • a grey Takeuchi TB146 and a black Mercedes C63 registration **12BUZ were stolen from outside two separate dwellings in Lupin Ride, Crowthorne  RG45 6UR.
In all the above incidents the cars were reportedly left locked and secure and the owners remain in possession of all the vehicle keys.
Most vehicle crime is preventable. The best way to protect your belongings 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 car key fob constantly transmitting an electronic signal which can be picked up by a receiver in the car when the two are 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 car to be 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 of suspects or know anything about these thefts you can report this information to police by dialling 101 or using the forces on line reporting portal. 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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