A rise in `car key burglaries’ – where your home is broken into specifically to take your car key and steal your vehicle – has led independent charity Crimestoppers to launch a campaign warning the public to keep your car keys safe.
The criminals involved target high-powered, high-value vehicles and can often `cruise’ around an area in the hunt for opportunities.
Latest police crime data shows the biggest rise in car thefts across the West Midlands were in Solihull, although the area still has the lowest rate of car crime in the region. In August last year, a car that was stolen in a car key burglary later smashed into another parked car in Allsey in Coventry and the driver fled the scene.
Nationally, in the twelve months to June 2017, over 100,000 vehicle thefts were recorded by police in England and Wales which is a rise of around a fifth.
Pauline Hadley, West Midlands Regional Manager at the Crimestoppers charity, said:
“Thieves are finding new ways to overcome impressive security measures being introduced by manufacturers. This is why in recent years they are resorting to new technics beyond the conventional when stealing cars – hence `car key burglaries’.
“The best way to protect your vehicle, especially if it’s high-value and therefore more at risk, is to keep your car keys somewhere safe and out of sight. It’s also recommended to use extra security systems such as immobilisers and visible security locks.
“We are a charity that gives people the power to speak up to stop crime. We won’t ask your name and we won’t judge. We’ll just listen to what you know. Please speak up and stay safe.”
If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
We urge anyone who has information to come forward and speak to us 100% anonymously.