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Staffordshire Police is reminding people how they can keep their keyless entry vehicles safe following a number of incidents of both theft and attempted theft in the region.
Fiat 500 models are particularly being targeted by thieves at the moment, with officers issuing the below advice to residents in the hope they won’t also fall victim.
Recent weeks have seen incidents in and around Hammerwich and Burntwood. Overnight on September 30 – October 1, there were three attempted thefts of Fiat 500s. While there was also an attempted theft on a Fiat 500 in August on Overton Lane.
Ford Transit vans are also being targeted with an increase in thefts in recent months within the region. It is reported there were 10 thefts in July, 11 in August and 21 in September. Offences are force-wide, but Stoke North, Lichfield and Cannock have been recent hotspots with offences occurring around 8.30pm – midnight, primarily on weekdays. Offenders are likely to be using keyless relay devices or “skeleton/Tibbie” keys.
If you have a keyless car/vehicle:
• Consider purchasing a key security pouch (also known as a Faraday pouch) to keep your car entry devices in while inside the house. These block the ability of thieves to access the key signal.
• Always check your car doors have locked after pressing your key fob.
• Park in a garage if possible or another secure area where it’s difficult to get the car out if accessed.
• Consider using a steering lock.
DC Daniel Trupp, part of the Priorities Team within CID at Staffordshire Police, said: “We would like to reiterate the need for keyless entry car owners to ensure their vehicles are locked at all times when not in use and to consider using Faraday bags to hold their keys to prevent cloning, and maybe use steering locks on their vehicles.
“And of course, please report all suspicious activity you notice in your communities and places of work.”
If you are a victim of keyless vehicle theft, contact Staffordshire Police on Twitter or Facebook directly to report the incident. In an emergency, always dial 999.