Fishing rods used to steal car keys
GANGS ROBBING HIGH END CARS TO SELL ON
LOUTH motorists are being warned that cunning car thieves are using 'fishing rods' to steal keys from inside owners homes to drive off with luxury cars.
Dublin based gangs are suspected of using the so called 'fishing' techniques in over 100 car thefts across the country, including a number in Louth.
The practice apparently involves the gang attaching a magnet to the end of a fishing rod or long wooden pole, pushing it through letterboxes and using it to remove car keys left on display.
Chief Superintendent Pat McGee, of the Louth Garda division, confirmed that he was aware of at least one incident - in Knockbridge -where 'fishing' had been used to steal car keys. Other thefts are reported to have occurred in Dunleer.
'The practice has been used in the theft of high end cars, which are likely being stolen to sell on,' said Chief Supt. McGee.
'In Louth we also have the threat of criminal gangs from the north operating across the county. As a result, we are working in co-operation with the PSNI on a number of operations.'
Along with acquiring the keys by covert means, thieves have also brazenly broken into homes in order to search for keys to vehicles parked outside.
'A lot of modern cars won't start unless you have the keys, so there are incidents where thieves have gone into homes to get them,' he added.
'The advice is always to secure the keys of your car at night. Don't leave them on display on a hall table or kitchen worktop.
Also ensure that all doors in your home are locked at night. We have had incidents reported where thieves gained easy access to a house through unlocked doors.'
He added that despite a surge in car thefts in June, the overall number of 'unauthorised taking of vehicles' is down by 20% in the first six months of 2011.