UK police warns of thieves using radio jammers on car door locks after wave of thefts
All 14 thefts occurred within a span of four days, along the M4 motorway in Berkshire REUTERS/Amit Dave

UK police have warned drivers have to double check their doors after using remote keys to lock car doors, after a wave of thefts. The crooks are believed to have used radio signal jamming to prevent door locking signals, leaving cars unlocked and tricking owners into a false sense of security.

The Thames Valley Police said that thieves have stolen goods from 14 vehicles parked at motorway service stations. "In many of the cases there was no obvious sign of a break in and no damage was caused to the vehicles as items were stolen from them," police said.

Among those cars accessed were two Range Rovers, a Jaguar, a Mercedes and a Renault. Investigators said that various items, including luggage, wallets, laptops and cash, among others were stolen. According to a report by Bleeping Computer, investigators believe that the thieves are using powerful signal jamming radio technology to prevent remote car keys from functioning effectively.

All 14 thefts occurred within a span of four days, along the M4 motorway in Berkshire. In addition to advising drivers to manually check their car doors, the British police are also recommending that drivers carry their valuable objects with them.

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.

"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."

Security experts have recently expressed concerns over the lack in security measures in various car models, especially those in connected cars, which have led to a series of car hack heists. In August, researchers at the University of Birmingham uncovered two major security flaws in remote key systems used by Volkswagen, which left over 100 million cars vulnerable to being hacked.