Shropshire Star

Mercedes, Audi, and VW cars stolen in Shropshire to use as getaway cars in burglaries - police

Several cars have been stolen in recent burglaries in Shropshire then used in subsequent burglaries of cash and jewellery, police say.

Published
Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Police say properties in Shrewsbury and North Shropshire have been hit in recent weeks.

They are now warning residents to take extra care of family jewellery, cash and cars.

Officers said the burglaries have involved thieves targeting homes where they suspect they will find high-value jewellery or cash inside.

Police have also said they believe a number of home break-ins are linked.

They have involved cars such as Volkswagen Golf Rs, Audi Ss and high-performance Mercedes models being stolen.

The cars have then been used in subsequent house and pub burglaries, targeting cash and jewellery.

Business owners have also been targeted, particularly those running restaurants and takeaways, where the culprits suspect they will find large quantities of cash.

Detective Sergeant Rob Davies, from Shropshire’s Serious Acquisitive Crime Team, said: "The best results we have had over recent years in tackling these criminals is as a result of vigilant members of the public reporting suspicious behaviour on their street or at any neighbouring properties.

"We therefore ask that you take extra interest in vehicles or people you don’t recognise on your street and do not hesitate to report any suspicious activity by calling 999.

"If you have high value jewellery or large amounts of cash inside your home, these need to be stored at a suitable location, preferably away from your home address. We know these thieves will search your house extensively while you are out, including lofts, safes and drawers.

"Keep these valuables in very safe locations, in safety deposit boxes, and if you are a business owner always deposit cash in the bank as soon as possible and do not take cash takings home with you."

Officers said that the recent spate in car thefts has not involved keyless car thefts. Instead robbers have broken into homes and businesses to search for the key, before making off with the vehicle.

Detective Sergeant Davies continued: “This recent spate of car thefts are not the keyless thefts we have seen recently, as the thieves will break into your home to steal the keys to your car, often during the hours of darkness and while you are asleep.

"That being said, take steps to protect your keys by hiding them and keep them in a ‘Faraday bag’, and consider using a tracking device so that your car can quickly be recovered if taken."

Anyone who may have information about an incident that they believe could be connected is asked to contact West Mercia Police by emailing intelshropshire@westmercia.police.uk.

Alternatively people can Crimestoppers on 0800 555111or visit crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.

Tips

Officers have delivered the following tips to protect your home:

– Store your valuables securely in a safety deposit box or bank vault.

– If you have to keep gold, jewellery or cash at home, install a safe that meets British Standard EN 1143-1 and the police recognised “Secured By Design” standards.

– The safe needs to be securely attached to the building (ideally bolted to, or embedded in, a solid concrete floor).

– Add other security measures such as CCTV, alarms and tracking devices.

– Don’t advertise your jewellery or when you are away – don’t post photos of your jewellery on social media, and be careful mentioning holidays or extended absences from home.

– When wearing jewellery for a special event, keep it covered until you are indoors and with people you trust.

– Keep wheelie bins and other items that can be used to climb into windows stored away.

– Keep windows and doors shut and locked when not at home.

Officers have delivered the following tips to help prevent key and keyless car theft:

– Do not use a key hook in your home - this will be the first-place thieves will look for car keys.

– Keep keys out of sight of cold callers and do not engage in conversation with cold callers if you suspect they could be ‘burglary scouts’.

– Ensure your vehicle is properly locked and keep keys far away from doors and windows to ensure the vehicle is no longer in range of the key’s signal.

– Place keys in a metal/foiled lined box or container, or another container that blocks the keys signal from reaching the vehicle when it’s not in use.

– Switch off the key’s wireless signal when you don’t need your vehicle. If you are unsure if the key has this function, find out in your owner’s manual.

– You could also purchase an aftermarket security device, such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post or wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away. Many criminals will consider bypassing these as ‘too much hassle’.

– Other steps include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area and having an aftermarket immobiliser or tracker fitted.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.