Detectives are urging motorists with high-powered cars to review their home security measures following an increase in the number of thefts of such vehicles in Widnes and Northwich.
Offenders have been snapping the locks on the front doors of residents’ homes in order to enter the premises and steal the car keys from within.
They have then been using the keys to steal the vehicles parked outside.
BMW cars are particularly being targeted.
Detective Inspector Ian Whiley, Cheshire Constabulary’s lead for burglary incidents, said: “Investigations are ongoing in relation to the recent burglaries in which high-powered cars have been stolen in Widnes and Northwich and our officers are following a number of lines of enquiry.
“Whilst these investigations take place I urge the owners of such cars to be vigilant and review the home security measures they have in place.
“By taking a few simple steps you can reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted.
“If you own the sort of vehicle that is particularly attractive to thieves, you may want to consider having anti-snap locks fitted on the external doors of your home.
“You should also never leave your keys in view of prying eyes. Keep them on you or in another safe and secure place at all times.
“Never leave your keys by an external door.”
Other steps that motorists can take to reduce the chances of their vehicles being stolen from outside their homes include:
- Make sure that your vehicle is locked whenever you are not in it and that you have not left any doors, windows or the sunroof open
- If you have electronic car keys, keep them in a security pouch when you are not using them to prevent them from being scanned by thieves to open and steal your vehicle nearby
- If your keyless entry fob can be turned off, and your dealer can confirm this, then do so overnight
- Electronic devices can be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your car – always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away, and if you are unsure you should lock it manually and then scan the immediate area for anyone hanging around
- Fitting a Sold Secure steering wheel, gear lever or clutch pedal security device can give your vehicle added protection and deter thieves
- Many modern vehicles are fitted with engine management diagnostic ports, which can be accessed without a thief needing to open the vehicle doors, boot or bonnet, but which can unlock and start your car. If your vehicle has this type of port, consider fitting a lockable cover.
DI Whiley added: “If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your community and suspect that they are thieves targeting properties or cars, please call us on 101 immediately.
“I also urge anyone with any information regarding recent key and car burglaries committed in Widnes and Northwich to call 101.
“Alternatively, you can give us the details online at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”