Shocking number of keyless entry vehicle thefts revealed as £15,000 Audi is stolen in Sheffield

Thieves stole 89 keyless entry vehicles in South Yorkshire in two months, news figures reveal.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 2:40 pm
Updated Friday, 16th April 2021, 2:40 pm

In February and March, a total of 89 vehicles were stolen across the county without their keys.

Earlier this year South Yorkshire Police revealed that another 101 keyless entry vehicles were stolen between December 7 and January 10.

The latest figures were released after a motorist from Sheffield spent yesterday driving around the city searching for his Audi A7, which was stolen from outside a house on Hopefield Avenue, Frecheville, while he slept.

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Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson
Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson

The £15,000 car had been fitted with an RS7 bodykit.

Thieves are taking advantage of keyless entry systems to drive off in cars without needing a key to start the ignition.

Of the 89 vehicles stolen over the last two months, 19 were found, with 13 tracked down in South Yorkshire and six in neighbouring counties.

South Yorkshire Police said numbers are down 10 per cent on previous months but urged motorists to protect their vehicles.Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson, the force lead for serious acquisitive crime, said: “Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the fob comes within a short range.

“Relay theft occurs when a device is used to trick the car into thinking the fob is nearby, the car unlocks, and the ignition can be started.”

He added: “Our teams across the force are working relentlessly to trace those responsible and the vehicles stolen.

“Officers have recovered 19 of those vehicles, 13 within our force area, the others were found in Humberside, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. We’ve got patrols and covert operations happening in hotspot areas and we’re also liaising with other forces.

“We know they’re a blast from the past, but one of the best weapons in the fight against keyless car thieves is the humble steering wheel lock. You can also buy signal blocking pouches which block any wireless signals such as cloning devices, these are a cheap, but valuable tool to protect your vehicle.”

Anyone with information about those involved in stealing cars should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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