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Rise in Suffolk vehicle thefts, new figures reveal

There was a 10% rise in the number of vehicle theft incidents in Suffolk last year Picture: GETTY IMAGES

There was a 10% rise in the number of vehicle theft incidents in Suffolk last year Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Archant

There were more than 600 incidents of vehicle theft in Suffolk last year - an increase of nearly 10%, new police figures have revealed.

Information obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws showed there were 616 incidents in the county in 2018, compared with 562 in 2017.

Charges were brought in only 29 incidents of theft last year, with no suspect identified in 423 cases, the statistics also revealed.

Police said the figures do not refer to the number of vehicles stolen, as there may be more than one vehicle stolen in any one offence.

In 2018, there were also 150 incidents of vehicle taking without the owner's consent, a slight decline from 2017 when the total was 167.

There were more than 600 incidents of vehicle theft in Suffolk in 2018 Picture: GETTY IMAGESThere were more than 600 incidents of vehicle theft in Suffolk in 2018 Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Earlier this year, Suffolk police issued advice following a string of keyless entry van thefts, the majority of which happened in Ipswich.

Between October 2018 and April 2019, 28 Mercedes Sprinter vans which used keyless entry were stolen - with 23 taken from Ipswich.

Police urged Sprinter owners to be vigilant and to take "sensible measures" to protect their vehicle.

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Keyless theft of a vehicle occurs when criminals use a transmitter to amplify the signal being emitted from the genuine key inside the owners house to reach the vehicle outside.

This allows it to be unlocked and driven away in seconds.

MORE: Warning after spate of thefts from keyless vehicles

Motorists with keyless entry cars are urged to make sure their keys are kept well away from doors and windows and in anti-theft pouch so that the signal cannot be "grabbed" from outside and used to open the car.

Drivers can search RFID security at www.securedbydesign.com for details of police preferred specification products.

Police also issued the following advice to avoid vehicle theft:

- Consider using steering wheel locks or wheel clamps.

- Owners can contact their local vehicle service dealer to see if there are security upgrades that can be carried out.

- Ensure that basic security measures, such as checking the doors and windows are secure, are always done.

- Park vehicles within secure compounds covered by CCTV where possible.

- Otherwise, park the vehicle in a garage, on a well-lit drive or as close to the owner's property as possible.

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