The problem:

“Thieves are stealing high-value keyless cars – make sure yours is not the next one to be targeted,” said St Albans Detective Sergeant Jon Green. He explained: “Car criminals are by-passing the technology and stealing high-value cars to order.”

A high-value keyless BMW was stolen at 2.28am yesterday morning (Wednesday July 18) from an address in  St Albans. The owner gave chase as the offender made off in the vehicle before abandoning the vehicle in a nearby street where it was recovered by police. An older BMW was stolen by similar method  between 10.30pm on July 16 and 9.15am on July 17.

There have also been a number of other keyless thefts of high value vehicles, in particular Range Rovers across the St Albans District over the past six weeks. All of these thefts have occurred overnight; believed in the early hours of the morning.

Advice from the police:

He said: “The best advice we can give you to deter these criminals is to make your expensive car as unattractive as possible to an opportunist thief by taking simple and inexpensive steps:

1) Keep your car key fob away from your front door/porch so they cannot pick up a signal
2) Invest in a Faraday bag pouch so your keys cannot be activated, these can purchased online for under £5
3) Invest in an anti-theft device like a crook lock (or steering wheel lock) or use wheel clamps.
4) Park in a garage overnight.”

He added: “If you see anyone acting suspiciously around these types of vehicles, please let us know. Please call us on 999 if you suspect a burglary or theft is in progress. If reporting retrospectively, please call police on 101. It is also worth joining Neighbourhood Watch via the Online Watch link (OWL) www.owl.co.uk where you will receive free emails about crimes in your local area.”

Advice from Diamond Insurance Consultants

Thefts like this cause huge difficulties for the victims. They also cost the insurance industry a lot of money and will inevitably increase the price of motor insurance for all of us. Our advice would also echo that above plus considering fitting a Tracker and, if you can’t park in a garage, have lockable gates on your drive – anything that makes it easier for the thieves to go somewhere else.