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Series of thefts has seen 16 high-value cars stolen locally in recent weeks

Keyless car theft

Police are appealing for information following a recent series of car thefts across counties Down and Armagh.

A total of 16 cars having been stolen, with the perpetrators focusing mainly on high value marques.

The brands include Lexus, Nissan, Landrover, Range Rover and more recently BMWs.

On each occasion the car has been taken in the early hours of the morning without entry being forced or the keys stolen from the owner.

Detective Inspector Dan Kelly said: “It appears therefore that the thieves are accessing the vehicles by redirecting the wireless signal from the owner’s key fobs inside the house.

“I would strongly urge car owners to take the same precautions as they do with home security. Establish a routine to help keep your vehicle safe, including using your garage, if available, to secure your vehicle or locking gates to driveways if possible.

“Use physical car locks such as steering column locks and chains, as well as keeping all car keys (including spares) away from exterior doors and walls.

“Motorists can use a blocking pouch (lined with metallic material) to help block the wireless signal from your key fob, commonly referred to as a ‘Faraday Pouch’.

“Placing fobs in a tin or the microwave can also help block the wireless signal. In addition, vehicle tracker devices are also an excellent way to combat car thefts.

“Our enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with any information to contact detectives in Lisburn or Lurgan on 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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