Crime prevention advice issued in relation to keyless car thefts in Eastleigh and Hedge End
Main article content
An increase in keyless car theft, also known as relay theft, continues to be seen across the county and the UK.
During 2022/23 there were approximately 480 incidents of keyless car thefts in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, which is up from around 135 in 2021/22.
Hedge End and Eastleigh are no exception when it comes to the national and country trends, as the following recent reports demonstrate;
Shortly before midnight on Friday 10 November, a Range Rover Evoque was stolen from High Street, Eastleigh.
Then, at 11.35pm on Saturday 9 December, a Range Rover was taken from Bursledon Road in Hedge End.
At 10.15pm on Tuesday 12 December, a Nissan Qashqai was stolen from High Street, Eastleigh.
On Friday 22 December, at approximately 2am, a Jaguar E-PACE was taken from Botley Road, Horton Heath.
A Land Rover Range Rover was then stolen from Ridgeway Close, Chandler's Ford in the early hours of the morning on Friday 19 January.
Then, and most recently, a Land Rover Discovery was stolen from Foyle Road, Chandler's Ford shortly after 11pm on Wednesday 31 January.
In all of these cases, entry wasn’t forced to the secure vehicles and it’s believed access was gained through relay methods.
Relay thefts are where thieves are able to connect to the key’s signal from outside the property to trick the car into unlocking and the ignition starting.
This is done with a device that doesn’t need entry into the owner’s home. It doesn’t take long for this to happen, up to two minutes in total, and often the owner has no idea it’s happening until it’s too late.
Auto Express published an article in December 2023, highlighting the increasing issue.
They state the surge in numbers of stolen cars is being driven by the ease with which offenders can acquire devices online that circumvent a vehicle’s complex security systems.
To make life harder for the potential thieves, we would like to encourage owners of keyless vehicles to take extra precautions to prevent becoming a victim of this crime, particularly owners of high value keyless cars, which are often the ones targeted.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your vehicle, but it’s important to use a combination of methods and utilise locks and other items to deter thieves and protect yourself to the greatest extent possible.
To protect your vehicle from being stolen, you can;
Keep keys out of sight and away from doors and windows
Use a signal blocking pouch, known as a Faraday Bag, to store your keys
Turn off your Keyless Fob’s Wireless Signal
Use a tested and approved Steering Wheel /Pedal / Gear Lock as a deterrent
Tracking devices can help track down your vehicle and the perpetrator should it be taken
Check with your manufacturer to make sure your car is as secure as it can be
Re-programme your keys if you buy a second hand car
Park securely or use your garage if you have one
Use CCTV and lighting.
We are working in partnership with manufacturer Disklok, to offer a one-time unique code (HPDSK15). This remains available for Hampshire and Isle of Wight residents to purchase a steering wheel lock with a discount.
Residents can report keyless car theft to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary by calling 101 or by reporting it online.