Police warn organised crime gang could be behind spate of wireless key fob car robberies

35 cars have been stolen in Northern Ireland using wireless technology in the last 11 months Credit: PA

Police have warned that an organised crime gang could be behind a spate of incidents where cars have been stolen by redirecting wireless signals from key fobs.

Detectives said 35 cars have been stolen using this technology in the last 11 months in Northern Ireland.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "With advances in technology, thieves are now able to gain access to your vehicle by redirecting the wireless signal from your key fob.

"They only need to be within a few metres of your car key to get the signal, even if it's inside your home.

"We are urging the public to be vigilant, especially those with keyless entry cars.

"The cars these thieves target are usually extremely expensive, so the loss is great.

"We are actively looking for these criminals and cracking down on these crimes.

"As part of this, we are arming the public with the knowledge of how they can outsmart them by taking some precautions to protect their property."

Over the next week and beyond the PSNI will be issuing crime prevention advice across their social media channels and officers in local districts will be visiting car dealerships, car washes and supermarkets to ensure advice and support is accessible.

Advice issued by police includes:

- When at home keep your car key (and the spare) away from the car, doors and windows.

- Put your keys in a signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday bag.

- Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it is not being used.

- Use a steering wheel lock or car alarm.

- Park in your garage overnight. If you do not have a garage park close to your home.

The spokesperson added: "Don't let thieves get an easy ride this summer. If you know someone who is stealing cars, or helping someone who is, please report to us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

"You can also come forward with any information you may have totally anonymously via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555111."

If you've been a victim of keyless car theft and would like to discuss the topic, email news@u.tv