Author Topic: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park  (Read 9114 times)

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Police say there've been several thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park in the last week. According to PCSO Samantha Griffin, cars have been damaged and small items taken. Of particular interest to thieves are laptops, satellite navigation equipment, and bags. Officers are, again, asking people to remove all valuables from their cars when they leave them.
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 10:25:01 am »
Someone has just posted on our Facebook page saying they think their car might have been tampered with on Tuesday night in Bradmore Way. I suppose the more police know about such incidents the better. Please add any incidents below (as well as reporting them as suggested by PCSO Sam Griffin).

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 11:18:12 am »
A few more reported incidents on our Facebook page.


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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 05:23:37 pm »
Seems the problem is widespread; more from our Facebook page.



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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 10:00:32 pm »
more over on our Facebook page.
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 06:13:37 am »
There have been more responses on our Facebook page overnight, including this one.

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 02:42:14 pm »
This topic has really taken off on our Facebook page with more comments from people who have had their cars tampered with.



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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 04:26:31 pm »
And another.

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 08:01:10 pm »
I overlooked this contribution to the thread on our Facebook page. It made me smile.   :)

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 08:43:29 pm »
Perhaps once the correct street lighting has been installed it will be a bit more of a deterrent. Drove home tonight and was astounded by the dark poorly lit streets!
 

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2016, 03:47:01 pm »
A few more...


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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2016, 03:49:18 pm »
Sam Griffin, our PCSO, says people have been emailing her regarding car crime, but says that those emails don't get logged if she is on a 'rest day', so better to ring 101.
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2016, 09:10:14 pm »
Another... interesting to see how those logging on to our Facebook page are more outspoken than those registered on the forum. Nice to have both outlets for local concerns.

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Offline Appletree30

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2016, 10:16:57 pm »
Is anyone aware of what the police are doing about preventing this happening further?
 

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2016, 07:31:16 am »
Obviously could be totally unconnected but might be worth comparing station cctv with car owners' cctv.

Yesterday evening (21/9) I got off a train at about 8.15 and there about 4 or 5 lads mostly in grey hoodie tops along the approach from ticket office to the steps.  They then walked towards the shops along the bridge.  There were a lot of people getting off the train but if I had been the only one I would have felt quite uneasy (and not used the bridge)  I have seen lads hanging around by the station several times in the past.
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2016, 07:38:12 pm »
I know of a few friends in BP that this has happened to in the last few days - the police believe the criminals might have some sort of device that's blocking remotes, so people think they've locked their cars when in fact they haven't. It's just too much of a coincidence that so many people have 'forgotten' to lock their car doors. Make sure you check the handles after you've locked your car remotely.



 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2016, 11:06:45 pm »
I know of a few friends in BP that this has happened to in the last few days - the police believe the criminals might have some sort of device that's blocking remotes, so people think they've locked their cars when in fact they haven't.


Which implies that those responsible are observing people leaving their cars at fairly close range...
 

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2016, 09:21:20 am »
Which implies that those responsible are observing people leaving their cars at fairly close range...

Not necessarily. Apparently, the thieves park nearby & leave the jammer on for a long period of time, so that anyone who comes home during that time will think they've locked their doors when in fact the signal has jammed. This is why police are telling people to get into the habit of physically checking your door handle once you've pressed the remote. Apparently, it happens a lot in car parks, where the thieves can just go from car to car checking for valuables - the link below explains it in more detail.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/26/high-tech-thieves-jamming-technology-steal-car

I don't even know if the thief has to be present when the jammer is on - it's possible they can park up & leave it in their car. There was a strangely parked car on Sunday close to where one friend's car was broken into later that night - I thought it was strange as it was almost blocking another road. It might be completely innocent or it might be that they parked like that to target the maximum number of cars within range of their jammer. We were lucky as our car re-locks itself after a few minutes.
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2016, 05:19:26 pm »
its seems a logistically very difficult time consuming and involved task to employ jammers in specific residential locations in the hope that someone will come home at that location and then not realise they haven't locked the car properly. All in the hope of getting some sunnys or an ipad. The article in question from the guardian doesn't seem to point to any firm evidence of this happening. Have the police issued a statement about the possible jamming in BP.
There are probably far easier ways to remove things from cars-usually im guessing from a broken window or a forgotton to lock the car open door.
I forget all the time-not any more-all locked up :D
















 

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2016, 05:37:12 pm »
Have the police issued a statement about the possible jamming in BP.
There are probably far easier ways to remove things from cars-usually im guessing from a broken window or a forgotton to lock the car open door.


That's what the police who visited my friends said they suspected might be happening. It just seems too much of a coincidence that so many security conscious people in a specific area have suddenly forgotten to lock their doors on a specific evening, even though they could have sworn they did, and then come down in the morning to find cars unlocked, doors ajar and, in some cases, personal items missing. Yes, it takes more planning than just walking up the road hoping that people have left their cars unlocked, but it does seem to be rather more successful, especially if they also have the devices to steal keyless cars & try them as they go along too. I don't know, I'm only surmising here, but I thought it was worth mentioning on this forum so that people could be extra vigilant when locking their cars.
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2016, 07:41:46 pm »
I don't know, I'm only surmising here, but I thought it was worth mentioning on this forum so that people could be extra vigilant when locking their cars.

We now lock the car with the remote and then check all the doors. Not sure whether that makes a difference, but it makes us feel better. Also, we bought LED lights at the front and back that are motion-sensitive and come on if someone, or something, moves about. The trouble is that if a local cat chooses to take a dump in our front garden - which they do on a regular basis - they have to do it floodlit.

 :-\  ;D
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2016, 04:59:32 pm »
Police report another "round of theft from motor vehicles" in Brookmans Park overnight. No word on how many, where, or what was taken, but they are issuing the usual appeal for witnesses and reminder to lock cars.
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2016, 09:22:36 pm »
Two friends of mine in Moffats (next door but one to each other) & I hear one in GWR too. Those are only the ones I've heard about so I'm guessing others will have similar stories. So the police haven't caught them yet?  :-\
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2016, 09:32:12 pm »
We were one of those broken into last night. The robbers used some kind of jamming device which opens the central locking system of cars automatically.
Fortunately nothing was taken and we were able to capture them on CCTV.
There were 12 cars broken into the same way last night, from Mymms Drive, Calder Avenue, Moffats Lane and Brookmans Avenue.
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2016, 09:33:00 pm »
These people just wander from household to household with out any fear of being apprehended by the police - what is really happening to all the income the local councils and goverment get from taxes rates etc, surely with our population growing and more houses being built there is greater income generaly and therefore more money for policing?
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2016, 10:00:33 pm »
If this is what's happening it seems there is a reasonably easy way of getting into certain cars with keyless entry or start systems. Looking online certain models are more vulnerable than others. There are ways to prevent it which I will take up. Who knew!!  BP
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2016, 10:18:51 pm »
There is however a lot of noise online about these attacks but they may possibly prove harder to execute than the media would have us think. Certain websites suggest that this method along with jamming attacks are not very common.  The latter being easier than the former-though both difficult to execute on a large scale. Some sites- having tried out these attacks in a test situation-concluded a lot of unexplained  car entry may be down to simpler more traditional methods. Sad to hear so many cars got broken into. I am hoping it's not relay or jamming  attacks and will be keeping my keys away from traditional locations to try to prevent any such occurrences should this be why they are happening.
 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2016, 09:18:13 am »
One possible method being used is jamming

The way this works is that you leave the vehicle and press the lock button on your remote control as usual. You think the car is locked

What has actually happened is that someone nearby has a device that jams the signal so the car is then left unlocked

There are probably lots of other methods of attack but this is a possibly common and low-tech approach.

Just make sure your car really has locked each time you use the remote, either by checking the hazard lights flash (if this is what your car does) or physically check the door handle.

To safeguard against the car itself being stolen a good low-tech method is something like a disclock - a big metal lock that fits over the steering wheel which is a great visual deterrent to any theif.

Remember, if a thief really wants your car then they'll get it, however if you make it even slightly more difficult then hopefully they'll move on elsewhere
 

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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2016, 09:37:59 am »
Jamming is apparently what the police also believe is happening. These jammers can be left in hedges etc for a period of time & are effective over a certain range, hence why we're seeing clusters of neighbours being targeted on any particular night - basically any car falling within the range.


So if we all double-check that our cars are locked & don't leave valuables (including sunglasses) in our cars, then maybe they'll eventually get bored. Or, even better, look at your CCTV & see if you can help catch them. If you have CCTV & have a neighbour whose car was 'broken into', then even if your car wasn't it's likely the thieves tried your door in the middle of the night to see if it was open - so check your CCTV.

 
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Re: Police warning re thefts from vehicles in Welham Green and Brookmans Park
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2016, 10:02:41 am »
WOW! 23 thefts from vehicles in Brookmans Park in the three days from Sunday 16 October and Wednesday 19 October. Another four nearby.

Brookmans Avenue (9), Mymms Drive (5), George's Wood (4), Moffats Lane (3), Calder Avenue (2)

Unedited police release below...

Quote
Latest News
POLICE WARNING FOLLOWING 27 THEFTS FROM CAR OFFENCES IN BROOKMANS PARK, HATFIELD AND POTTERS BAR

24/10/2016
 
Police are appealing for witnesses and information and are urging motorists to ensure they lock their vehicles after a series of thefts from cars happened between Sunday, October 16 and Wednesday, October 19 in Brookmans Park, Hatfield and Potters Bar. The cars were either interfered with or had items stolen from them and a large proportion were left unlocked.
 
The offences took place in the following locations:
 
* Four offences happened in George’s Wood
* Nine offences happened in Brookmans Avenue
* Five offences happened in Mymms Drive
* Two offences happened in Calder Avenue
* Three offences happened in Moffats Lane
 
Offences also happened in Northwood Road East, Kingswell Road, Colesdale and the Meadway in Potters Bar during the same period.
 
Various items including sunglasses, cash, Sat Navs, bags and clothing were stolen from the cars.
 
Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Jeff Scott said: “It is vitally important that motorists lock their vehicles before leaving them, even if they are on a driveway, as leaving cars insecure leaves them vulnerable to opportunist thieves. Not only do you risk having any items left in your car stolen, you also may be invalidating your car insurance as companies are likely to refuse to cover the cost of stolen possessions if a car was left insecure.
 
“We are doing all we can to locate those responsible for these crimes, including stepping up patrols in affected areas, and I would urge anyone who has witnessed anyone behaving suspiciously in the streets affected to contact us as soon as possible via the police non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.”
 
* On Friday, October 21, following proactive police investigations into car crime in Hatfield, 18-year-old Joe Lindsay - from Tottenham Road in London - pleaded guilty at Hatfield Remand Court to two theft from motor vehicle offences. The crimes happened in Moffats Lane in Brookmans Park and Northaw Road East in September. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug and was sentenced to a 12 month community order a requirement to perform 75 hours of unpaid work.
 
Inspector Scott added: “In September the Constabulary launched a new campaign called Operation Chariot which aims to deliver important crime prevention advice encouraging drivers to “defend” their vehicles and incorporates a range of proactive activities by officers to catch those involved in offending.
 
As part of Operation Chariot, we would advise motorists to consider the following crime prevention advice to protect their vehicles:

* Never leave valuables on display
* Never leave tools in your van unless they are secured in an approved* tool safe
* Fit good quality approved* additional external locks to van doors
* Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number
* Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one.
* If away from home consider parking your vehicle in a ‘Park Mark’ approved car park. www.parkmark.co.uk.
 
To help prevent your vehicle being stolen:
 
* Never hand vehicle keys over to a third party or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet parking, car wash or other parking places, where criminals can gain access to the vehicle and code a key electronically. 
* Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic (OBD) port, in the vehicle cabin. This prevents criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle.   
* Consider fitting a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS, to make it more difficult for the tracking signal being blocked.
* Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment so make sure your car is locked by trying the door before leaving it.
* Ensure that ‘home’ on your vehicle ‘Sat Nav’ is shown as the post code of your local police station and not your actual home address.
* Use an approved* steering wheel lock and never leave your vehicle unlocked – even for a moment.”
*We recommend products that are “Sold Secure”, see their website for details: www.soldsecure.com or “Secured By Design”, see their website: www.securedbydesign.com.
 
More advice on how to make your vehicle safe is available at: www.herts.police.uk/crimeprevention.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to get in contact via the police non-emergency number 101.  Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/241016_-_1033.aspx
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