A shocked Cowbit man whose £40,000 BMW was stolen from his drive has urged other keyless vehicle owners to step up their security.
Charlie Farrow was stunned to find his 7 Series model had been taken as he slept.
Fortunately he was quickly able to track the vehicle and alerted police who found it in a lock-up near Boston. However, stripping of the car was already under way with the seats removed.
Mr Farrow (38) had thought it was a joke when his wife told him the prestige car was missing on Tuesday morning last week.
“Heather came upstairs and said ‘where’s your car?’ and I said ‘On the drive, of course’. When she said it wasn’t, I thought she was having me on but then she told me to look.
“There was just a patch of dry gravel where I’d parked it.”
Mr Farrow had left his keyless entry fob in the hall near the front door. Some fobs work by constantly transmitting a signal which unlocks the vehicle when next to it.
Thieves act by one person relaying the signal to an accomplice with a device standing by the vehicle, effectively tricking it into believing the key is present.
Mr Farrow bought the used car in February. It was a treat after the growth and success of his family firm in Spalding, diesel generator manufacturer Welland Power.
He had finally decided to get rid of his trusty VW Passat after ten years. “It’s not so much they took the car that bothers me because, although I like it and it’s great to drive, it is just a car. It’s more the fact that these people have been around and about your house,” he said. “I was lucky that I got my car back but I’d say to anyone with a keyless entry vehicle to get a key safe box.”
The BMW was tracked to a location near Kirton Marsh. Detectives were able to take fingerprints and Mr Farrow got the car back this week after having it restored to its original condition.
Lincolnshire Police said: “No arrest has been made at present but we are actively investigating this.”
Meanwhile, Insp Ian Martin said: “We would strongly advise owners of keyless cars to buy a Faraday bag. The bag acts as a key signal shield to help protect owners from having their cars stolen.”
Anyone with information on the theft or any other keyless car crime is asked to contact 101, quoting incident 55 17/9.