Van theft puts South Yorkshire pizza business at risk as 'keyless entry' crooks strike again

A South Yorkshire pizza business has been put at risk by ‘keyless entry’ crooks targeting cars and vans across the county.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 2:44 pm

Between December 7 and January 10, a total of 101 vehicles were stolen in South Yorkshire without their keys.

In Doncaster there were 33 stolen in the town in one month, with 23 of them vans.

Vehicles with keyless entry systems unlock automatically when the key fob is nearby.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A pizza business has been put at risk by van thieves

To steal them crooks use a device which tricks vehicles into thinking the fob is nearby, allowing the doors to open and the ignition to be started.

This week Ben Farina, who owns Farina’s Artisan Pizza, woke up to discover the van he uses to tow a trailer where he cooks and sells wood fired pizzas across South Yorkshire, had been stolen.

CCTV cameras shows that the black Ford Transit Custom was stolen from Burns Way, Wath upon Dearne, at 11.38am on Monday.

Ben, a married dad-of-one, has not been able to work since the theft, fears he could be over £5,000 out of pocket.

His generator and catering equipment stored in the van are not covered under his insurance policies and he needs to pay for improved security to prevent another theft when he replaces his van.

He launched his business last June after being made redundant from his role selling funeral plan insurance policies.

“The CCTV footage shows the van being stolen in 40 seconds. That is all it took to put my livelihood at risk,” he said.

“They didn’t have a key and it appears that they follow you around, clone your key somehow and see where you live. Once you park they can be in your van and away in seconds.”

He added: “I am devastated because everything I had went into the new business after I was made redundant in the middle of a pandemic.

“It has been a tough enough year without this happening too.”

Ben trades in Thorpe Hesley, Wickersley and West Melton every week and is available for private hire for functions.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.