Category Archives: Security

CAR-RELATED CRIME IN HERNE HILL

There have been some outbreaks of car-related crime in the area in recent weeks.

 

 

 

Here on Fawnbrake Avenue last weekend, an attempt was made overnight to steal a pedal bike that had been dismantled and was being stored in a hatchback.  The attempt failed but some other items were stolen.

Down in Poets’ Corner off Dulwich Road, several car break-ins and attempted thefts have occurred. One suspect (a woman) has been arrested; another suspect is being sought.

And across on Ardbeg Road in North Dulwich, in the past 3 months, people have reported that 6 different cars have been targeted – 4 break-ins (broken window, petty theft) and two cars stolen, most recently this month.

Relay thefts

Both stolen cars were modern Land Rovers supposedly with all of the modern anti-theft technology. The issue is that professional thieves have found a way to hack these new keys. And almost all modern cars are vulnerable.

So called ‘relay’ thefts happen via a £100 relay device, which allows people to come along in the early hours, open a car and drive off as if it were their own.

This involves one person standing outside your front door, and using a radio device to activate (and get a response from) your car keys inside the house. Then a second person stands near your car, and ‘relays’ the signal from your key which is still safely tucked away in a drawer somewhere, tricking the car into thinking you are there with that key. Some cars (key-less opening) just open up. For others, the thieves smash a small window, open the door from the inside and start the car as if they were inside with your key.  Most car brands are vulnerable including Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Volvo, VW, Audi etc.

Car owners with modern keys may be vulnerable to this theft. Many experts recommend buying  a ‘faraday’ pouch off Ebay or Amazon and keeping your car key in it at night. This shields the key from radio signals.

The old-fashioned Krooklock systems are probably worth looking at too.

Beware Gutter Snipes

The Herne Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team report that gutter cleaners have been canvassing the area – indeed, some have been leafletting here in Fawnbrake Avenue.

They offer to clean the gutters, then miraculously discover serious problems in the guttering, or roofing (even removing tiles to create a problem which they can then demonstrate).

It is better to use recognised roofing firms to check out any suspected problems in gutters.

Bike theft on Fawnbrake Avenue

A neighbour on Fawnbrake Avenue had his bike stolen when the family were away over the Easter weekend, i.e. between last Saturday morning (31 March) and Tuesday (3 April).

The bike is black and had a child seat mounted on the rear, so it is quite distinct. The same (or other) thieves also made off with two fire extinguishers from the communal hallway, which is another thing somebody might have noticed.

If anyone happened to see someone wheeling or cycling that bike along Fawnbrake Avenue last weekend, please post a comment and I will pass it on to our neighbour.