Motorists have been warned to take steps to protect their cars following an increase in keyless car thefts.
Provisional figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show there has been a 3.1 per cent increase in vehicle crime between May and June this year, the ‘bulk’ of which is down to keyless car theft.
This type of theft involves using a device to boost the signal from a car key to trick the vehicle into thinking it is close by, unlocking the car. Criminals hope that the keys are left close to the front door so that their devices can pick up the key’s signal and boost it.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime, assistant chief constable Jenny Sims, said: “Car theft is a serious crime that causes significant distress and upset to owners and police are putting considerable resources into tackling it and bringing those responsible to justice.
“Whilst the rapid development of technology has dramatically improved the experience of drivers it has also allowed criminals to exploit weaknesses in electronic security.
“We are working closely with car manufacturers to help them design out crime by sharing intelligence and equipment seized from criminals. We are already making substantial progress in this regard.
Despite this recent increase, the NPCC points to official figures showing that overall theft of, and from, motor vehicles is down 21 per cent.
The best ways for motorists to keep their car safe is to double check it’s locked, keep keys out of sight and away from doors and windows, and storing keys in a metal tin or security pouch.