Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottingham

Ford Transit van and Ford Puma owners warned as city criminal gangs get device allowing keyless thefts

Motorists are being warned to take precautions after criminal gangs have got hold of a device which allows them to unlock and start up keyless cars.

Drivers who own vehicles such as Ford Transit vans or Ford Puma STs are falling victim to these types of thefts.

In the last two months there has been 19 stolen Ford vehicles across the city division, around 11 of these have been stolen without keys.

Police suspect they are using a device which allows them to gain entry to the vehicle and then using a tool to start up the engine without the need for a key fob.

Criminals have mainly been targeting residential areas across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and seem to be attracted to the Ford Transit van and Ford Puma models.

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Neighbourhood Inspector George Fenwick said: “Criminals are using a device to get them into the vehicle. There has been no broken glass at the scene of these crimes, so they are not using traditional methods to gain entry.

“They are then plugging a device into the vehicle to override the system and starting up the car without the need of a key fob or activating the stop and start button.

“These are high-value cars, with all victims still in possession of their keys at the time of the thefts. Criminals have therefore got their hands on these devices.

“We are starting to see an increase in these types of car thefts and have a team of officers working at tracking these career criminals down.”

Officers are scouring through CCTV and ANPR cameras to track the offenders down with neighbourhood officers carrying out patrols in hotspot areas.

Mr Fenwick added: “We have some really good intelligence and are working on a number of lines of inquiry to stop this group in their tracks.

“Residents should be able to park their cars freely on their drives or on the streets of Nottingham without falling victim to this type of horrible crime.”

Mr Fenwick says there are some precautions drivers of these vehicles can take to stop their cars being stolen.

He added: “The best way to prevent criminals targeting these vehicles is installing wheel locks or steering wheel locks.

“If criminals see a physical device in your car, they will more than likely go somewhere else. They want to be in and out in seconds. They don’t want to be hacking off locks and will think twice about targeting your car.”

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