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Vehicle Crime

Alert message sent 07/04/2022 14:00:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Most vehicle crime is preventable. The best way to protect your belongings is to keep valuables out of sight and lock your car whenever you leave it.

Unfortunately, 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 in and start the car without causing any damage.

Keyless entry and ignition works by the car’s key fob constantly transmitting an electronic signal that 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 the doors can be opened and the engine started. Generally taking the key further away from the car stops the signal being detected by the car.

When at home if you leave your car outside and the key fob near 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 and Wokingham areas, and police enquiries are ongoing.
If you have seen anything suspicious, have CCTV or video doorbell footage of suspicious activity or persons or know anything about these thefts you can report this information to police by using our online reporting portal or by dialling 101. If you want to remain anonymous or do not want to speak to the police, you can report information via the independent charity Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111 free of charge.

Steps you can take to deter thieves from breaking into your car:
• Store your key fob in a signal blocking pouch or tin.
• Utilise an overt steering wheel lock as these can act as a physical deterrent to thieves. Some models can link to pedals and gear sticks.
• Do not leave anything on view within your car, even a jacket can entice thieves to break in and see if any valuables are in the pockets.
• Make sure your sunroof and all windows are fully closed.
• Take removable items such as sat navs and other electrical devices out of the car.

Whilst driving in the UK you are not required to have your driving documents with you, so there is no reason to leave your registration document (log-book), insurance, MOT or Driving Licence in the car. If stolen they could potentially be used to transfer ownership of your car or for identity theft.

For more advice on how to keep your vehicle safe, visit the Thames Valley Police website

Thank you.
Message sent by
Karen Collins (Police, Admin/Co-ordinator, Wokingham)

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