Hertfordshire Constabulary is issuing a warning after the theft of several vehicles which had been put up for sale.
At least five vehicles, four BMWs and one Audi, have been stolen in the last two months, after men posing as prospective buyers viewed the vehicles and obtained the vehicle key fobs.
During the viewings the offenders have managed to switch the fobs for duplicates. The offenders then returned at a later time and took the cars using the stolen fobs.
The thefts occurred in Bricket Wood, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Borehamwood and Bushey.
Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “These offences were perpetrated by men who contacted the seller via online motor sales sites and arranged to view the vehicles. During the viewing the offenders have managed to switch the vehicle fobs for a duplicate.
“We advise people selling vehicles to take all the usual precautions you would when selling any item, but you should also never hand over the keys to a stranger, if you are allowing someone to test drive the vehicle make sure you accompany them and make sure you have all the vehicle fobs afterwards.”
If you have information about these offences you can report information online, speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 41/28437/20.
If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.
Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.