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Three charged and remanded in connection with keyless vehicle thefts – Dacorum

6 Oct 2021
  • Three men have been charged and remanded in connection with keyless vehicle thefts in Hertfordshire

  • Officers from Dacorum's Intervention policing team proactively stopped a vehicle in Hemel Hempstead before searching it and its occupants

  • They recovered items believed to be linked to the theft of keyless vehicles across Hertfordshire

Three men have been charged and remanded in connection with keyless vehicle thefts after a proactive stop by Dacorum Intervention officers.

Vytas Minkeuicus, aged 38, of no fixed address; Deividas Sirtau, aged 32, of Evanston Gardens, Ilford, Greater London; and Piotr Szmanski, aged 29, from Clova Road, Newham, Greater London, have all been charged with conspiracy to steal motor vehicles in connection with offences across Hertfordshire.

They have been remanded in custody and are next scheduled to appear at St Albans Crown Court on Monday 1 November.

Just after 2am on Wednesday 29 September, officers from Team B Intervention stopped a BMW they believed was being driven suspiciously in Two Waters Road, Hemel Hempstead.

They searched the car and the three occupants inside, and recovered items believed to be linked to the previous keyless theft of vehicles.

The occupants were detained, arrested and taken to custody. The BMW was also seized as part of the investigation, which is being led by the Specialist Investigation Team (SIT) and supported by Dacorum’s Local Crime Unit (LCU).

Dacorum Chief Inspector Jason Keane said: “These charges are part of a wider operation to tackle keyless thefts in Hertfordshire and are the direct result of some excellent proactive policing work from Team B Intervention, as well as the tenacity of detectives in both our SIT and LCU.

“I want this to serve as reassurance to the people of Dacorum that we continue to be out there patrolling in the small hours, protecting our residents and tracking down those who cause the most harm to our communities.”

If you own a keyless vehicle, there are some easy steps you can take to protect your property.

  • Keep vicinity vehicle keys in a signal blocking pouch which stops the signal from your key. You can purchase Police approved ‘Secured By Design’ signal blocking pouches here: www.securedbydesign.com
  • Keep keys away from the front of your property; either upstairs and/or hidden away is preferable.
  • Check your manual or with your dealer if it is possible to switch the key’s signal off.
  • For additional security, consider purchasing a steering wheel lock.
  • If your vehicle has an alarm or immobiliser, ensure these are enabled.
  • If your vehicle doesn’t have a tracker, consider getting one fitted. Fit a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS to ensure that one tracking system is still functioning if criminals use GPS blocking techniques to avoid detection. Purchase devices to ‘Thatcham’ and ‘SBD’ approval. Vehicles equipped with a tracking device are often promptly recovered.
  • Check regularly for software updates for the car.

You can use our community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit bit.ly/police-dacorum and tell us what you think.

Download the new OWL app to keep up to date with police news on the go. No registration is needed. To get the app, search the App Store or Google Play for ‘OWL crime alerts’.

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