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Thieves target cars using keyless technology as police issue urgent appeal for information

Keyless car theft Dungannon
A keyless car theft in Dungannon last year

Eight BMW cars in the Mid Ulster area have been targeted by thieves so far in December – on top of five in September and October.

Eight cars – three in Coalisland and five in Cookstown – were targeted in December, while a car in Portadown, one in Cookstown and two in Magherafelt were stolen from in September.

A car in Magherafelt was targeted in October.

Detectives investigating the thefts from BMW cars continue to appeal for information following further reports of thefts.

Detective Sergeant Murphy said: “We have now received reports of eight cars having been entered in the Mid Ulster area in December, in addition to five previous incidents in September and October.

“In all but one of these incidents the perpetrators have gained access to the cars using keyless entry technology.

“Electronic starters, electronic hand brakes, steering wheels, HUD displays and radios along with any personal items left in the cars have been targeted.

“Our enquiries into these incidents are continuing and I would appeal to anyone with any information which could assist with our investigation to contact detectives in Cookstown on 101.

“Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at”

The incidents, which to date have only targeted BMW cars, have prompted Detective Sergeant Murphy to warn owners to take some steps to help the security of their vehicles: “With advances in technology, thieves can gain access to your vehicle by redirecting the wireless signal from your key fob so, you should establish a routine to help keep your vehicle safe, including using your garage if available to secure your vehicle and keeping all car keys (including spares) away from exterior doors and walls.

“I would recommend the use of a blocking pouch called a Faraday pouch (lined with metallic material) to help block the wireless signal from your key fob.”

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