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Warning to vehicle owners following high value car thefts in Reading

Alert message sent 05/11/2020 14:06:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Officers are warning people to take extra steps to secure their vehicle against theft after two cars in Reading were stolen.

At around 4.30pm on Tuesday 27 October the owner of a black Mercedes E220 AMG was visited by three men, who viewed the car, which had been advertised for sale on a social media selling site.

At 11.35pm on the same day one of the men returned to the property where the car was parked in Elm Park Road, opened the car door, and stole the vehicle. The vehicle has not yet been recovered.

The offenders were described as Eastern European, one of whom was older and walked with a limp.

At 7pm on Saturday (31/10), two men visited a property in Alexandra Road to view a white BMW 730D parked on the driveway, after it had also been advertised for sale on a social media selling site. The vehicle was stolen between 10pm on the same day and 9am the following day. The car was recovered in Slough on Sunday (1/11).

Crime Co-ordinator Mark Heybourne, of Reading’s Priority Crime Team, said: “Following these thefts I would like to remind all vehicle owners to be vigilant in the event thieves attempt to target your cars.

“Thieves can access your key or your fob to clone them so it is vitally important you keep your keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door. When electronic keys are not in use, keep them in a security pouch to prevent them from being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car.

“Electronic devices can also be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your vehicle. Always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away.

“Some modern vehicles are fitted with engine management diagnostic ports, which can be accessed without the thief needing to open the vehicle doors, boot or bonnet, but which can unlock and start your vehicle. If your vehicle has this type of port, consider fitting a lockable cover.

“Additionally, if you can, park your car in a well-lit area, preferably one which is covered by CCTV, and fit anti-theft devices.

“We are continuing to investigate the two thefts of motor vehicles and would like to speak to anyone who has any information which could assist us. In the first incident in which a BMW was stolen it is unknown how the offenders gained entry to the vehicle as the men who viewed the car only held key for two minutes at most, however it is suspected they may have a device for copying the electronic signature needed to start the vehicle.”

Anyone with any information about the incidents should call the 24-hour non-emergency number 101, quoting the reference 43200345380 (Mercedes theft) or 43200353859 (BMW theft) or you can make a report online.

If you do not wish to speak to police, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
Hannah Jones (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

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