Vehicle theft in Hertsmere rises more than a third

PUBLISHED: 14:58 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 04 March 2019

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Police have issued renewed advice for vehicle owners after Hertsmere saw the county's second-highest leap in vehicle theft offences since last year.

See our embedded story for Herts Police’s tips on keeping your vehicle safe.

Countywide, motor vehicle thefts have increased by more than 13 per cent since April, when compared with the same period in the previous year).

Hertsmere had a 36 per cent increase, with 208 offences compared to 153 last year.

Only East Herts has seen a steeper spike in the crime, which leapt by 37 per cent from 103 to 141.

Dacorum has also seen a rise, from 187 offences last year to 239 - a 28 per cent increase.

Police are urging people to review their security arrangements.

Thieves often target homes for vehicle keys that have been left close to letter boxes or insecure windows and doors, enabling them to drive the vehicles away.

Thieves are also employing special equipment which can hijack the signal from keyless entry fobs that are left inside the home close to where the vehicle is parked.

The equipment can be used to unlock the vehicle and even start the engine.

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from Herts Police’s Crime Reduction Unit said: “Most of the newer vehicles in the UK use a keyless fob and have very sophisticated security systems, however criminals are evolving their tactics all the time and are using technology to bypass these systems allowing them to gain access and steal vehicles.

“You should never give anyone you do not know access to your keys or vehicle and when using remote central locking check the door to ensure they really are locked before leaving your vehicle.

“You should also get into the habit of storing your fob as far away from your vehicle as possible when at home.

“Placing keyless entry fobs in a metal box or Faraday pouch will make your vehicle even safer.”

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