We are investigating a potential series of thefts targeting high performance vehicles in the West Lindsey area, and warning residents to be extra vigilant in keeping their vehicles secure.
We received reports of three incidents in two days last week. In each case, the properties targeted all had high value and high performance, and the locks on the doors to the homes tampered with or forced.
We are keeping an open mind about the circumstances and people responsible for each incident, but we are considering whether they are linked.
The first incident was reported to have taken place in the early hours of the morning on 17 May at an address in Laughton. We received a report that a lock on a door had been tampered with in the early hours of the morning, but the perpetrator was disturbed by the homeowners. Thankfully, nothing was stolen. Incident 13 of 17 May relates.
We received a further report the following day that a property in Scotter was targeted, but the offenders were also disturbed by the homeowner. Incident 33 of 18 May relates.
A report was then received soon after that same night that a blue Audi Quattro S3 had been stolen from another address in Scotter. It is believed that the theft took place between 2.15am and 4.40am. Incident 44 of 18 May relates.
Due to the late hours of all three offences, traffic around these areas will have been light and we are appealing to anyone who may have been driving along any main roads nearby during those times to check dashcam footage to see if it captured any other vehicles on the road and share that with us.
Please also report any suspicious activity to us, such as someone acting suspiciously in the area, for example watching your property or vehicle, filming, or an unrecognised vehicle repeatedly driving through a neighbourhood.
If you can help with our enquiries into these incidents, please contact us on 101 and quote one of the incident numbers above. You can also send information to police anonymously by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
If you currently own or have a high performance car, we urge you to read our security advice. Please click the link to see the full details around each tip:
1. Lock your vehicle
Locking your vehicle, even when filling up or parked on your drive, and check you haven’t left any windows or the sunroof open. If your vehicle has wing mirrors that fold in automatically when locked, make sure you lock it properly. Criminal gangs are looking for vehicles like these where the wing mirrors are still out because it is clear to them that the vehicle has been left unlocked.
2. Keep the keys safe
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Keep your keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox.
3. Keyless entry
Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the car. This can be from inside a pocket or bag. If you have to push a button on your car key to open your car, you don't have keyless entry.
Keyless car theft or 'relay theft' is when a device is used to fool the car into thinking the key is close by. This unlocks the car and starts the ignition.
Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your car key to capture the signal, even if it’s inside your home. This means that even if your car and home are secure, thieves can still unlock, start and steal your car.
How to protect your keyless entry car
When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car.
Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag.
Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second hand car.
Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.
4. Fit good in-car security locks
Bear in mind that built-in steering locks aren’t necessarily thief-proof. Many can be forced and broken. Fitting a Sold Secure steering wheel, gear lever or clutch pedal security device can give your vehicle added protection.
Double-check electronic locking
Electronic devices can be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your vehicle. Always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away.
If unsure, lock it manually, then scan the immediate area for anyone hanging around. If a potential thief who’s watching feels they’ve been spotted, they’ll probably move off.