High tech thieves steal 16 top of range cars from across NI

  • Brands include Lexus, Nissan, Landrover, Range Rover and more recently BMW’s
  • Co Armagh and Co Down worst hit
  • Cars believed to have been stolen to order

High tech thieves have stolen 16 top of the range cars from Co Armagh and Co Down in recent months, prompting a PSNI appeal.

It is understood the cars were mainly stolen in areas from Portadown, Hillsborough, Donaghcloney, Waringstown.

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Detective Inspector Dan Kelly said: “At this time we have received reports of 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 BMW’s. 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. It appears therefore that the thieves are accessing the vehicles by redirecting the wireless signal from the owner’s key fobs inside the house.”

He urged car owners to take the same precautions as they do with home security. He urged keeping the vehicle secure - in garage if possible locking gates to driveways.

“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. 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.”