Norfolk residents are being urged to keep their vehicles secure following a number of thefts.
Officers have issued the warning after 12 Mercedes Sprinter vans have been stolen from addresses in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Attleborough, Thetford, Stalham, Bawdeswell and Wymondham since Monday 15 October 2018.
In four of the cases the vehicles have been subsequently recovered.
Police are urging owners of vans to review security and take additional measures if needed including:
- Get a security device, use it and make sure you keep your keys with you
- Purchase a good immobilizer, preferably one that is approved by your insurance company and is either Thatcham or Sold Secure approved
- Register your vehicle at www.immobilise.com
- Don’t leave anything on display in your car
- Take your belongings with you when you leave the car – if you can’t, lock them in the boot before you start your journey
- Fit an electronic immobiliser- this will prevent the car from starting
- Mechanical immobilisers, such as steering wheel locks, are a good alternative to electronic immobilisers
- Fit locking wheel nuts
- Get an alarm installed
- Consider marking all your valuables that you frequently take in your car
- Lock all doors and close windows and the sun roof every time you leave your car unattended
- If you have a garage, use it. If you don’t always try and park in a well-lit open place
- Always lock your car and garage
Keyless entry systems on cars offer convenience to drivers, but can in some situations be exploited by criminals. Concerned drivers should contact their dealer for information and guidance, and follow our simple security steps:
- Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
- Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
- Store your keys away from household entry points and windows. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify the signal. Drivers are also being urged to keep both sets of keys in a faraday cage or pouch which blocks the signal from the fob.
- Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the Police.
- Review your car security. Check for aftermarket security devices such as mechanical locks (steering / gearstick/ pedal / wheel clamp) and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves.
For more information on vehicle security, visit www.norfolk.police.uk
Anyone who may have information about the vehicle thefts should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.