Officers are warning Ford Fiesta owners to protect their vehicles after a series of thefts across South Yorkshire in recent month, with more than 80 stolen from across the county since the start of March this year, with differing Fiesta models being taken.
Ford has this afternoon responded to the police warning, stating that the keyless entry technology being overridden by thieves can be blocked by Ford ‘sleep’ fobs, keyless entry fobs with sleep mode as standard to protect against being hacked.
A spokesman said the security feature has contributed to thefts of the latest Ford Fiesta tumbling by two-thirds.
Simon Hurr, Ford security specialist, said: “The online availability of devices, which have no place in public hands, has long been a problem for Ford, our industry and crime fighters. We are pleased to extend our simple but effective solution, to help protect more owners of our most popular cars.”
Existing models can have security upgraded with replacement sleep-mode fobs, priced between £74 and £94 for Fiesta and Focus, plus 0.9 hours labour to programme and test.
The firm says there are other precautions that people can take.
It says people can check for visual cues to confirm the car is double locked as they walk away. The indicators flash as the doors lock. In some cases wing mirrors fold in as permanent confirmation that the car is secure.
And it warns they should avoid leaving ‘key-free’ fobs just inside their front door within close range of a car parked outside. Instead they should store further away, in a suitable metal box or shielded pouch.
Anyone who has information or footage, such as CCTV of car thefts, which may assist police investigations is asked to report it on 101.
If the crime is in action, report it to police on 999.
Police say this is really important as by reporting the crime while it’s taking place, officers have a better chance of catching the criminals in action. You can also anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.