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Keyless entry vehicle stolen in Oakham

A luxury German vehicle was stolen in Oakham by thieves believed to be using an electronic device that allows them to mirror the signal of the key.

Oakham Police’s PC Joe Lloyd reported that a BMW X1 had been stolen in Nene Crescent “by means of keyless technology” on January 10.

Enquiries into the theft are ongoing.

This follows the recent theft of three other vehicles that were taken in a similar manner from Stamford and Bourne.

Community Policing Inspector for Stamford, Bourne and The Deepings, Inspector Ian Martin, said police could not yet say if the cases were related but have not ruled out the possibility.

“But we have been in discussions with our colleagues in Oakham and Cambridgeshire where similar thefts have occurred and we are working together,” he said.

In Bourne, a Volvo V40 was stolen from outside a house in Great Northern Gardens sometime on Saturday night.

The owners of the vehicle were still in possession of both keys.

“Our enquiries have indicated the vehicle travelled south from the area after it was stolen and investigations are ongoing,” he said.

In another incident in the town, a BMW M6 Coupé was stolen from a driveway in Poppy Place sometime on the night of January 8 while in Stamford, a Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Coupé was taken overnight between January 7 and 8.

In both cases the owners were still in possession of both sets of keys.

Inspector Martin said “most” of the equipment needed to create a device that would allow for the signal of a key to be copied was available online.

“But being in possession of these devices constitutes a criminal offence and you could be arrested if caught.”

He said police could not say if the thieves were targeting vehicles to order.

“In some cases it is probably opportunistic.

“It may be that the thieves have a list of vehicles they want to target but are not able to get them because they cannot get access to the key for whatever reason.”

For the device to mirror the signal of the key, it needs to be in close proximity to it.

“We would advise people to keep their keys away from doors and the fronts and edges of their homes or to place them in a metal container or even a Faraday bag which is able to block the signal,” said Inspector Martin.

Anyone with information relating to the above cases is asked to call police on 101.

- Information initially received on the Oakham theft stated that the BMW stolen from Nene Crescent had been recovered. We have since been informed this is incorrect and the vehicle is still missing. The story has been edited to reflect this.

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