Drivers using motorway services stations, particularly those along the M4 in Berkshire, are being warned that thieves could be using technology to prevent people locking their vehicles and then stealing from them.
Thames Valley Police officers are warning people to make a manual check that doors are locked before leaving their vehicles, because signals from key fobs to cars’ central locking systems may be being jammed.
This advice follows a spate of 14 thefts from vehicles at motorway services in Berkshire. In many of the cases there was no obvious sign of a break in and no damage was caused to the vehicles as items were stolen from them.
Officers are also appealing for anyone who visited the services during the dates outlined below and has any dashcam footage to get in touch as they may have vital information for the investigations.
At Chieveley Moto Services on M4 at junction 13 between 24 November and 1 December two vans, two lorries and a Mercedes car were entered and items including tools, a suitcase and laptop were taken.
At Reading Moto Services M4 junctions 11-12 between 26 November and 28 November two Range Rovers, a Jaguar, a Mercedes and a Fiat 500 were all accessed with no obvious sign of a break-in, and various pieces of luggage were stolen from the vehicles.
At Membury Welcome Break M4 at junctions 14 -15 between 24 November and 26 November two Land Rovers, a Mercedes and a Renault were accessed by unknown means. Luggage, wallets and cash were stolen.
Investigating officer, sargeant Alan Hawkett of Newbury Police Station, said: “I strongly recommend that any members of the public visiting motorway services stations anywhere in the country keep all valuable items in their possession when away from their vehicle. Offenders may be using technology to prevent your vehicle from locking therefore we would advise a manual check of the doors before leaving your vehicle.
“I am appealing to the public who use in car dash cameras who may have been at any of the above service stations on the above dates and times to contact me. You may have captured an offence or offender on camera. I am extremely keen to review the footage.”
Anyone with any information or dashcam footage relevant to these incidents is asked to call 101 using ref 409 27/11/2016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org