POLICE have urged residents to protect their vehicles following a spate of thefts across the borough.

South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning to people not just in Barnsley, but across the county, after receiving numerous reports of thefts of Ford Fiestas and Ford Focus ST models.

In some cases, it’s understood the vehicles are then being used in further criminal acts.

PC Phil Carson, from the Roads Policing Group, said: “There doesn’t currently appear to be any pattern in the current vehicle thefts being reported cars are being stolen from a variety of locations during the day and overnight.

“We’ve also had reports that motor homes have become a recent target for thieves in South Yorkshire, with a number of expensive models being taken from outside victims’ homes.

“Thieves are using a number of different ways to steal vehicles, including use of technology to clone keys and in others, especially keyless vehicles, using a relay transmitter to trick your vehicle into thinking the key is much closer than it is, thereby unlocking the door and allowing them to gain access.

“This is in addition to the more typical two-in-one burglaries where keys are taken from inside your home, or something is used to pull the keys through the letterbox.

“There are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure that your vehicle is as secure as it can be.

“Something as simple as an old-school steering wheel lock or a wheel clamp is an obvious deterrent for thieves.

“Remember, these criminals are looking for an easy opportunity so if your car has an obvious full steering wheel disc lock or a wheel clamp in place, that’s immediately going to put them off.

“They’re looking for the quickest and easiest target don’t let your vehicle be next.

“Please take the time to review your vehicle security and stop would-be thieves.”

To report a crime, call police on 101 or pass information on anonymously via the Crimestoppers website.