Police warn drivers to be on guard for ‘car hackers’

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The rise in use of specialist ‘car hacking’ technology to steal vehicles has sparked a warning to drivers from Herts Police.

Officers are urging motorists to take extra precautions with their cars following a number of thefts of newer car models, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes, using electronic devices.

According to the force, the equipment can be used to either hack a car’s encryption code or jam the central locking signal, and crimes of this nature have risen significantly across the country this year.

Crime prevention officer Ian Dowse said: “In Hertfordshire as in other areas, high value vehicles are being stolen without keys, which may indicate criminals are using devices to start the vehicle.

“We would recommend fitting a disc steering wheel lock and a dual band tracking device to ‘Secured by Design’ standards, to enable the vehicle to be tracked. Also make sure that doors are actually locked after using remote central locking, or manually lock your doors using the key.

“Wherever possible keep vehicles in a garage or on a driveway, and ensure that the vehicle keys are never left with a third party such as valet parking schemes, car washes or people coming to test drive a car when it is being sold etc.”

Click here for more safety advice from the force, or call 101 to report a crime.