Drivers of keyless cars and vans urged to be vigilant
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Officers are reminding drivers of keyless cars and vans to ensure their vehicles are kept secure at all times.
It comes after a number of keyless vehicles and vans have been targeted by thieves in Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, South Staffordshire and Tamworth recently.
More than 140 vehicle crime offences have been reported since the start of July 2022, with 48 of them being thefts and attempted thefts from vans.
One recent theft saw an Iveco Transit van targeted overnight on 13 to 14 August in Burntwood.
The victim reported the van had been parked at the front of the premises and when she returned to the vehicle, the driver’s side window had been damaged and an ignition barrel had been removed.
Offenders have also been targeting vans parked at hotels.
A total of nine offences of this nature have been reported since the start of July, all taking place overnight on weekdays.
Chief Inspector Paul Cooke, commander of the Lichfield Local Policing Team, said: “Where possible, lock your van in a secure garage or use a steering lock to deter any opportunists from targeting your vehicle.
“If possible, make sure your van is parked in direct view of CCTV cameras.
“You should attempt to remove tools from vans overnight. An alternative can be to mark them clearly with their name using paint pens and sealing that with a clear lacquer spray.
“I would also suggest using a lockable cabinet and small cameras can also be installed inside vans.”
Cannock, East Staffordshire, Tamworth and South Staffordshire have each been hotspots for keyless motor vehicle thefts in recent months.
These thefts have mainly taken place overnight and during the early hours.
Since the start of August, seven Ford Rangers have been stolen in Tamworth.
Officers believe offenders may be using keyless ‘laptop-sized’ relay devices or so-called ‘skeleton keys’ to access vehicles.
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 is difficult to get the car out if accessed • Consider using a steering wheel lock.
Chief Inspector Rob Neeson, commander of the Tamworth Local Policing Team, said: “We are aware of an increase in criminal activity relating to vehicles.
“I would urge anyone who has a keyless vehicle to invest in a Faraday pouch to protect themselves and their property.
“All vehicle owners should be vigilant to any suspicious activity in and around their communities and report any concerns to police.”
If you are a victim of keyless vehicle theft, contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or in an emergency, dial 999.
For more guidance on how to keep your vehicles safe, visit: Keeping vehicles safe on the Staffordshire Police website.