Fri, 02 Dec 2016
HI-TECH thieves are thought to be targeting motorists at Berkshire service stations by using gadgets to secretly prevent drivers from locking their vehicles.
A spate of thefts have been reported along the M4 at Chieveley Moto Services, Reading Moto Services and Membury Welcome Break where items have been taken from a range of vehicles with no obvious signs of a break in.
Thames Valley Police officers are now warning people to make a manual check that doors are locked before leaving their vehicles.
In total there have been 14 thefts in the last week.
At Chieveley Moto Services on M4 at junction 13 between November 24 and December 1 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 November 26 and November 28 two Range Rovers, a Jaguar, a Mercedes and a Fiat 500 were all accessed by unknown means, ie no obvious sign of a break-in, and various pieces of luggage were stolen from the vehicles.
While 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, Sgt 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 27/11/2016or email firstname.lastname@example.org