Warning to drivers as Dacorum sees biggest rise in vehicle theft across the county

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Criminals have targeted keyless entry vehicles using signal relay equipment

Police are warning drivers to make sure their vehicles are secure after an increase in car theft in Dacorum.

Thefts of vehicles have risen across the county by more than eight per cent this year, compared to the same period last year. The borough is among the areas which have experienced the biggest increase, alongside Three Rivers and East Herts.

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Crime Prevention Officer Darren Cowell said: “There’s been an increase in vehicle thefts this year.

Hertfordshire Police has provided crime prevention advice.Hertfordshire Police has provided crime prevention advice.
Hertfordshire Police has provided crime prevention advice.

“Keyless entry vehicles have been targeted by criminals using signal relay equipment, which can pick up the fob signal and use it to unlock and start vehicles. Using a signal blocking fob pouch (Faraday bag) or storing your fob and any spare keys in a metal box will help prevent theft of keyless vehicles. Also using a good quality steering wheel lock can be an effective deterrent.”

Police have offered the following advice to keep vehicles safe:

  • Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage at night if possible.
  • When at home keep your keyless car fob, and a spare, well away from the car.
  • Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag.
  • Reprogramme your key fobs if you buy a second hand car.
  • Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running, even if you are only gone for a moment.
  • Consider fitting CCTV covering your home and driveway, to help deter thieves.
  • Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible - this can also act as a deterrent.
  • Always consider parking in a car park that has been accredited with the police approved ‘Park Mark’ scheme.
  • Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don’t want to alert you to their approach.
  • Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle.

More advice can be found on the Hertfordshire Police website.

Crime information can be reported online or via the non-emergency number 101.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via am untraceable online form.