Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SURGE IN LUXURY CARS HIT BY HI-TECH THIEVES; FOUR STOLEN IN ONE STREET BY RAIDERS USING HAND-HELD DEVICE; SGONE IN 50 SECONDS.. BRAZEN THIEF USES HANDSET TO BEAT SECURITY ON TOP-OF-THE-RANGE CAR; Use Steering Locks on Keyless Cars, Say Police

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SURGE IN LUXURY CARS HIT BY HI-TECH THIEVES; FOUR STOLEN IN ONE STREET BY RAIDERS USING HAND-HELD DEVICE; SGONE IN 50 SECONDS.. BRAZEN THIEF USES HANDSET TO BEAT SECURITY ON TOP-OF-THE-RANGE CAR; Use Steering Locks on Keyless Cars, Say Police

Article excerpt

A SURGE in the number of "keyless" luxury car thefts in London's most exclusive areas is being investigated by detectives.

Gangs are stealing hundreds of cars including Range Rovers, BMWs and Audis using handheld hi-tech devices that bypass security systems.

In one Chelsea street alone four vehicles, including three Range Rovers, have been stolen in recent weeks. The latest victim on Ormonde Gate, near the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is property developer Laura van Bilderbeek, 38.

Her top-of-the-range BMW estate was stolen from outside her new home on Sunday. She said: "I am really upset, the BMW was used to ferry the family around and it is a real blow. The manufacturers should make it more difficult to steal their vehicles. As it is they can steal them in seconds.

"My new flat was also broken into the week before -- it has been a stressful start to my life there."

The theft of an PS85,000 Land Rover Sport from Ormonde Gate was caught on CCTV, with images showing the criminal casually clicking open the lock system before climbing inside and driving slowly away.

Another car stolen from the street activated its internal tracking system and was traced to a scrapyard in Kingston. One of the victims received a replacement car through their insurers -- only to have it stolen a week later.

It is believed thieves are targeting vehicles with "keyless" ignition systems, bypassing security with a handheld device that can be bought on eBay for as little as PS50.

They dismantle the cars to remove their electronic tracking devices and ship them to eastern Europe.

Figures from the Met show car thefts in Kensington & Chelsea are rising more quickly than in any other borough.

Figures from Thatcham Research, the motor insurers' research centre, show that between January and July this year almost 300 Range Rover Evoques and Range Rover Sports were stolen in London, along with 63 BMW X5s and Series 3 models.

A spokesman said all top-of-the-range cars were vulnerable to keyless thefts, it simply depended which make was on the thieves' latest "shopping list". …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.