Police warn Suburb drivers to leave glove boxes open to deter thieves

Motorists have been advised to leave their glove boxes empty and open for thieves to inspect - after it emerged car locks were being tampered with in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Car key fobs can be blocked or even copied by thieves working in the conservation area and police have warned residents to openly display they have nothing worth stealing stashed away in glove compartments.

Suburb residents suffered a spate of thefts last year and one driver claimed police blamed motorists for failing to lock their doors.

But police are now actively advising residents to discourage thieves.

A spokesman said: “Advice was given to leave glove boxes open and empty to deter thieves from trying to break into cars as they can see there is nothing to steal.”

One driver, who did not wish to be named, claimed the number of thefts has crept up and she believes her BMW has been broken into by thieves using the almost undetectable method.

“Last year sat navs and the like were being stolen from cars and the police were saying we hadn’t locked them,” she said.

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“But now their advice is to leave the glove compartment open to show there’s nothing in the car worth stealing, but that could run down the battery.

“It seems like they’ve recognised that this fob method is being used,” she said.

The police spokesman claimed that motorists had been informed of the criminal ruse last year.

He said: “These devices can block the infrared signals from fobs and you could even imitate them. The instructions last year were if you’re going to click the fob you must check it to make sure it closes.

“It might seem cool to walk away having pressed it in your pocket but theses devices are out there.”