CAR thieves using technology to target cars with keyless ignition systems are on the prowl, warned a family who narrowly avoided their motor being stolen.
Two people were caught on CCTV at a home on Oakdale, Worsbrough, at around 4.50am on Monday - as the residents slept inside.
The pair can be seen looking around the car parked on the drive before one, holding a bag on the end of a crutch, waves the bag around in front of the house before continuing to look around the property.
It’s thought the bag contained an electronic device used in ‘relay theft’ - which diverts the car key fob’s signal to trick it into unlocking the doors.
The second man, holding a second device next to the car, then accesses the vehicle as the signal is transmitted.
But the car, belonging to Paul Walton, was thankfully fitted with a ‘ghost immobiliser’ that requires a series of actions to be taken before setting off - and meant the thieves couldn’t drive it away.
“They clearly knew what they were doing,” said his daughter Jade, 25. “They were very quiet and didn’t disturb anyone. My mum and dad were asleep in the bedroom at the front of the house.
“It’s not even like it was the middle of the night, they came at a time when people would be getting up for work.
“But the only reason we knew they’d been there is that they’d moved the wheelie bin.
“There were things in the car like a bit of money for fuel, that were left. They were obviously not there to steal anything. They wanted the car.
“It was only because we had the immobiliser that they didn’t take it in five or ten minutes - instead they were around for half an hour before they left.
“It’s certainly not the first time, and I doubt it will be the last.”
Jade said the family had spotted a suspicious car in the area on Saturday, which could have been driven by someone looking for vehicles to take.
Police confirmed reports that another car was stolen, reportedly in a similar manner from Cumberland Road, Ardsley, at around 4.30am last Wednesday.
Officers have advised residents to keep their keys in an RFID signal-blocking pouch, leave them out of sight and away from doors or windows, buy a steering wheel lock and block access to the car wherever possible.
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Warning issued over on-the-prowl car thieves
Author: Luke Watson
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