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Police increase patrols to catch car key burglars

Published: 25th January 2011 15:55
Police in Warwickshire have launched a high profile ANPR operation today aimed at disrupting the activity of traveling criminals attempting to steal high value cars off driveways in Warwickshire.

In the last week, officers have noticed a slight increase in car key burglaries and officers are working closely with neighboring police forces and increasing patrols at key locations throughout the county to disrupt the activity of would-be car thieves.

David Whitehouse, Head of Community Protection said "The stolen cars may be used to commit further crimes so it is extremely important that we work closely with the public now to help reduce further thefts.

"If you own a high value or high performance car such as an Audi, BMW or Subaru, please review your home security, consider fitting tracking devices and lock the car away in a garage when not in use. Most importantly, please do not put yourself in danger when confronted by car thieves.

"We have visited the owners of forty Audi RS4's to offer crime prevention advice and support. However it's not just Audis that are being targeted and information packs are available for anyone who is concerned."
Police are appealing for witnesses to the following incidents:- 

Incident 165 of 20 November - Kenilworth
Police were called at 2pm on Thursday 20 January after a black Subaru Impreza Saloon was stolen off the driveway of a home in Bodnant Way, Kenilworth. Sometime between 8.30am and 2pm, the thieves forced the front door open, damaging the lock and the wood on the frame to steal the car keys from inside before taking the car. Fortunately the car was fitted with a tracking device and was located by officers in Fosseway Road, Coventry.

Incident 327 of 20 January - Kingsbury
At 8pm on Thursday 20 January, the owner of a high value car in Kingsbury reported an attempted burglary at his home that may have occurred anytime in the last few days. The thieves failed to get in via a rear window.

 Incident 19 of 21 January - Coleshill
At 1.45am on Friday 21 January, a householder in Coleshill, who owns a high value car, heard a noise and disturbed three males attempting to break into the front of his home. The three males ran off as soon as they were disturbed. The police dog tracked the route the males took but did not locate them on this occasion. The males are believed to have left in a vehicle.

Incidents 23 and 24 of 21 January - Warwick
Two neighbours who both own high value cars were broken into in Warwick overnight.
One of the neighbours was awoken by a banging noise and his house alarm at 2.07am on Friday 21 January. He saw three males running from the front of the house and discovered that his back door had been forced open. Officers believe the thieves were looking for his car keys. The other neighbour woke to see a handbag and contents strewn across her front garden.

Motorists are advised to follow the below advice to reduce the risk of night-time car key burglaries.
* Never leave house or car keys on view near a door or window. Criminals can hook keys through open windows and letterboxes.
* Remove keys from doors locks before retiring for the night.
* If possible park cars in a secure garage overnight.
* Invest in a good quality home security system and fit good locks to your front and back doors.
* Invest in security lights to the front and rear of your property.
* Install a satellite tracking system in high value cars - if stolen it can be more easily traced.

Security Devices: Many newer cars will already be fitted with an immobiliser and/or car alarm, if not consider having one professionally fitted. Car alarms should conform to the BS 6803 standard.

Electronic immobilisers, which prevent the car from starting, or mechanical immobilisers such as steering wheel locks, will also deter car thieves. Steering wheel locks are in-expensive and available from most car accessories stores.

Reducing people killed or seriously injured on our roads is also a priority for us and we will be using our high profile presence to encourage drivers to slow down to an appropriate speed for the weather conditions and carrying out winter driving checks on our ‘hot routes' where collisions are most likely to occur.


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