382 ‘keyless’ car-thefts prompt police anti-crime drive

Cars are being stolen even without keys

Cars are being stolen even without keys - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What would you do if someone stole your car?

382 vehicles were pinched in Barking and Dagenham last year without using keys – the fourth highest for any London borough – prompting a new police drive to protect your vehicles.

Operation Endeavour launched this week after an eight per cent increase in vehicle theft across London in 2014.

It sees officers in the borough on patrols and leafleting, urging drivers to “protect their vehicle like their home”.

The Met says the jump is due to organised crime gangs targeting even keyless cars with a clever electronic device that disables the alarm.

This has led to more than 6,000 extra vehicle thefts in London, bringing the total last year to 24,000.

Det Chief Supt Carl Bussey, lead for Operation Endeavour, said: “We believe that organised crime groups using this technique are responsible for the theft of thousands of vehicles in London.

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“Steering wheel locks, immobilisers and tactics like parking in well-lit areas are the motoring equivalents of home security.”

Police also say to park in a garage, staffed car-park or somewhere with CCTV, and to double-check the vehicle is locked before leaving.

For more information visit met.police.uk/keylessvehicletheft

Have you been affected by this crime? Call Adam on 020 8477 3886 or email adam.barnett@archant.co.uk