Thieves use advanced technology to steal from cars in St Albans, London Colney and Harpenden

PUBLISHED: 11:03 14 December 2018

Police are advising drivers to protect their cars after thefts in St Albans, London Colney and Harpenden.

Police are advising drivers to protect their cars after thefts in St Albans, London Colney and Harpenden.

Archant

Police are warning drivers to protect their cars after a spate of car thefts in St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney.

There were seven car thefts between Monday, November 26 and Sunday, December 9 across the district - five in St Albans, one in Harpenden and one in London Colney.

A variety of makes were stolen including a Nissan Micra, a Ford Fiesta and an electric Tesla car.

According to police, car thieves operating in the district are using advanced technology to steal new and valuable older cars, in line with a national trend.

St Albans Det Insp Alexandra Warwick said: “We have doorbell video footage of a man with a laptop trying to steal a Mercedes from a driveway in Harpenden on two separate occasions over the last fortnight at around 3am.

“He was clearly trying to connect to signals emitted by keyless car fobs. Fortunately he wasn’t able to gain access because the owner had taken sensible precautions.

“Keyless cars are particularly vulnerable to theft as once the frequency to the fob is breached the car can be started at the push of a button.

“I strongly advise that motorists keep keys in a metal container such as a biscuit tin, fridge, or a Faraday bag (which is lined with metallic material) or even just wrap your keys in tin foil. You can also speak to your car manufacturer about unique crime prevention advice for your particular make of vehicle.

“I’d also encourage people to buy steering wheel locks as these act as a deterrent to car thieves.

“To help us reduce thefts from motor vehicles, please also make sure you lock your vehicle and double check by trying the door handles and make sure your windows are closed with property and any valuables removed.”

If you see anyone acting suspiciously around cars, call police on 101 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report.

If you believe a crime is in progress call 999.

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