Car thefts soar in Staffordshire
Staffordshire saw the biggest rise in car thefts in the country last year, new figures have revealed.
Police chiefs in the county have got a major battle on their hands to tackle what is becoming an increasing problem.
Home Office data showed car thefts rose by 38 per cent in Staffordshire during 2018. Increasing keyless thefts are thought to be the reason for the spike.
There was also a big jump in the West Midlands, where the number of cars being stolen rose by 18.7 per cent. Bedfordshire, Thames Valley and Surrey saw increases of more than 20 per cent.
There were 1,831 cars stolen in Staffordshire in 2018, up from 1,332 the previous year.
Unsurprisingly most cars were nicked in London, followed by the West Midlands where the total was 11,140, up from 9,386.
The job of preventing car crime has been made more difficult for police due to the availability of gadgets online that crooks can use to duplicate the signals get into vehicles without having to get their hands on the keys.
Alex Buttle, director at Motorway.co.uk, which released the figures, said: "These troubling car crime figures suggest that over-stretched and under-resourced police figures are struggling to curb the rising number of car crimes, and in particular keyless car thefts.
"Advancements in anti-theft systems do not seem to be discouraging thieves, who are using a variety of ever-more sophisticated techniques to break into and start cars.
"The 21st century thief isn't using a hammer to smash a window and hotwire a car. They're armed with wireless transmitters, signal jammers and key programming devices."
Detective Inspector Giles Parsons, from Staffordshire Police, said: “Staffordshire Police currently has a dedicated team of detectives that investigate theft of high value/high performance vehicles under Operation Jackal.
“We also co-ordinate our investigations and share intelligence regionally, particularly with West Midlands Police to catch those responsible and bring them to justice.
“We would urge the public to: always lock vehicles, refrain from leaving items in view, use a steering and handbrake lock and considering investing in good lighting, CCTV or engine immobilisers.
“Anyone with any information about stolen vehicles should contact us on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”