Cheshire Police are warning owners of cars and vans with keyless entry systems to be vigilant after a rise in the number of thefts of these vehicles in the Macclesfield area.
A third of all reported theft of cars and vans in Cheshire are keyless entry vehicles.
Criminals are starting to exploit some vulnerabilities of this system – allowing them to drive the car or van away without having to break into a home to get a key.
Inspector Duncan Gouck said: “Keyless entry systems offer convenience to drivers, but can in some situations can be exploited by thieves.
"We are doing all we can to tackle the issue but we need the continued support of motorists to help drive down this type of crime.
"By assessing your current security measures and taking a few simple steps you can help to reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted.”
Drivers are urged to:
- Contact your dealer for further information and guidance regarding the digital features in your vehicle - Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
- Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
- Think about how you store your key at home. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to get near to the key to amplify the signal. Drivers are urged to keep both sets of keys in a container or pouch which blocks the signal from the fob.
- Review your vehicle security – consider additional security devices such as mechanical locks and trackers.
- Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the police.
Anyone with any information about vehicle crime is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101, give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.