Police step up night patrols after high performance cars thefts

Two Ford Fiesta TS cars, with On Board Diagnostics, have been stolen in the Falkirk area this month
Two Ford Fiesta TS cars, with On Board Diagnostics, have been stolen in the Falkirk area this month

Police are investigating thefts of high performance cars in the district that could have been pulled off using cloning devices.

Officers are following “positive lines of enquiry” that recent vehicle thefts were done with devices that override the computer systems on certain cars.

Police say there has been an increase in the number of thefts of cars in the district over recent weeks, especially Ford Focus and Fiesta models made between 2010-2012.

Two incidents of the thefts highlighted by police are a white Ford Focus, registration SW10 VUH, stolen from a car garage forecourt in Glasgow Road, Camelon overnight between April 5 and 6, while a blue Fiesta ST, registration S21 DWY, was taken from Gartcows Road, Falkirk on April 6 at around 1.50am.

Another Fiesta ST was taken from Elmbank Crescent, Dennyloanhead on April 7, while there has been reports of several other vehicle thefts.

The vehicles may have been targeted through the On Board Diagnostic equipment and police have increased patrols in the early hours of the morning when the thefts are taking place.

Police have also visited owners of high performance spec cars to advise them to take precautions to protect their vehicles.

Detective Inspector of Falkirk CID Jim Thomson said: “We are following positive lines of enquiry that high performance spec cars are being targeted through their On Board Diagnostic equipment and we urge owners, and the public, to be vigilant.”

Frequencies prevent door locking

Ford’s website says thieves are known to use radio frequency jamming equipment to prevent cars from locking – especially in shopping centres and motorway service stations when customers try to lock their cars from a long distance away. Criminals can then enter cars and clone keys to drive them away.

Advice issued states that when locking your vehicle, always look for confirmation of the locked status (usually flashing of the hazard lights) and on some vehicles, the folding of the power mirrors. If you do not see the confirmation of the doors locking, return to the vehicle and check by pulling the door handle to ensure the doors are locked.

Ford was contacted for comment but did not respond as the Herald went to press.