Thieves ‘cloning keyless entry fobs’ to break into vehicles across South Yorkshire

Vehicle thefts are up almost 20 per cent in South Yorkshire, with thieves taking advantage of increasingly popular keyless entry systems.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 3:43 pm

In the 12 months up to October 2021, 3,590 vehicles were reported stolen in South Yorkshire – up 19 per cent from the previous year.

A report to Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, states that the number of vehicle crimes are of ‘particular concern’ to South Yorkshire Police, and 13 vehicle thefts were reported each day in October and November.

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13 vehicle thefts were reported each day in October and November.

The number of Ford Transit vans being stolen have increased, with thieves ‘often using keyless entry methods to gain entry to vehicles’.

Temporary Superintendent Jamie Henderson, the force’s lead for Acquisitive Crime said: “Thieves are known to target hotel car parks, as they know that many trades people who are working out-of-town are unlikely to decamp their tools into their hotel room overnight, meaning each theft is more lucrative for them.

“Whilst it’s inconvenient having to remove your tools, we are aware that it does sadly increase your risk of being targeted by thieves if you do not.”

T/Supt Henderson added that thieves are cloning the signal from the van’s remote key fob.

How can I prevent my vehicle from being stolen?

Choose the right locks for your van to provide a visual deterrent and extra obstacle for thieves to overcome Consider using immobilisers to prevent hot-wiring and driving off with unattended vehicles Fit a vehicle tracking system to assist yourself and the police to locate the vehicle if it has been stolen Be careful not to advertise what might be inside your van Remove expensive tools and equipment from your vans when unattended Don’t leave behind valuables or any signs of them, including satnav or phone holders Never leave the vehicle’s keys in the ignition, in the same outbuilding as the vehicle, or near your front door inside your home or business Think about where you’re parking – if possible, a well-lit and secure car park or driveway is the best option