Thefts from vehicles in St Albans up by 39 per cent since April

Car crime.

Car crime. - Credit: Archant

Thefts from vehicles in St Albans have risen by 39 per cent since the beginning of April, as police tackle a wave of high-tech burglaries.

These instances are up from 169 in the same period last year to 239 this year, higher than Stevenage, Three Rivers and Hertsmere.

Insp Andrew Palfreyman said: “We tend to see more thefts from vehicles when the weather is hot, as people often leave windows open to keep their vehicles cool.

“If you leave valuable items in your vehicle on view, this can encourage thieves to try and break in. Make sure any items are not on view and try to remove anything of value from the vehicle overnight.

“Vans are also being targeted for tools and equipment stored in them. Criminals can use a variety of methods to bypass vehicle security systems, so I urge the removal or securing of tools.

“We are running crime prevention events across the county helping people to secure their vehicles and security marking valuables. Details of these events can be found at

Police have also advised drivers:

• Not to hand vehicle keys over to a third party or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet parking, car wash or other parking places, where criminals can gain access to the vehicle and code a key electronically.

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• Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic (OBD) port, in the vehicle cabin. This prevents criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle.

• Consider fitting a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS, to make it more difficult for the tracking signal being blocked.

• Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment, so drivers have been asked to make sure their car is locked by trying the door before leaving it.

• Ensure that ‘home’ on your vehicle’s Sat Nav is shown as the post code of your local police station and not your actual home address.

• Use an approved steering wheel lock from Sold Secure and never leave your vehicle unlocked – even for a moment.