Fylde thieves 'using relay gadgets to break into cars'

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Cleveleys residents have been warned to guard their automatic car key fobs after a thief tried to ransack vehicles in the area.

A resident working late spotted a light in a car on Beechcroft at around 3am and saw a youth wearing a hoodie searching the vehicle.
He called the police and as he watched the thief tried to get into another car – but the security lights came on and he rode off on a bike down Cross Way.
He then tried to get into a workman’s van but failed and then broke into a Jaguar.
At this point the police arrived and he fled.
Police confirmed they had responded to a call and had been aware of youths prowling on bikes in the dark in the area near the Promenade.
A spokesman said: “I can confirm that we did receive a report at around 3am on March 13 that a man had been seen approaching a vehicle on Beechcroft, Cleveleys.
“He then got inside and searched the vehicle but it’s not believed anything was stolen.”
Resident Jane Littlewood from the Visit Cleveleys website said a man found what looked like an electronic car key fob in the street nearby.
She said: “There was no brand name on it, so he took it to the police station in Fleetwood.
“It seems that this “device” communicates with car keys in your house and can copy the key code, that’s how the hoodie got into the new car.
“If you leave your car keys near the front door the criminals open your letter box, press a button on this device and it links up with your car keys.
“I’m told that with stuff like this going on it’s best to leave your car keys inside of an empty coffee can or some such thing, that protects the keys from being copied.”
Police nationally have warned that criminals are using the relay devices to steal new cars without breaking into people’s houses.
Jane added: “One of the policemen said that burglars and the like approach this area via the Prom.
“They can ride without being noticed, then head into the target area (less than a minute on a bike from the Prom).
“They then ransack cars, break into homes or sheds, and if disturbed jump back on their bike and within a minute they are back on the Prom disappear into the darkness.”