Police are warning car owners in St Albans to take steps against thieves who are using advanced technology to steal new and valuable older cars across the St Albans district in line with a national trend.
St Albans Detective Inspector Alexandra Warwick issued the warning after seven thefts in the St Albans district over two weeks, five of which were in St Albans.
She 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.”
A variety of makes were stolen including a Nissan Micra, a Ford Fiesta and an electric Tesla car.
Det Insp Warwick added: “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, please call us on 101 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report. If you believe a crime is in progress call 999.