POLICE have warned residents to stay vigilant following an increase across the borough of criminals hacking into a car’s computer to unlock the car without a key.

Over the weekend, officers from Barnsley South’s Neighbourhood team reported a spike in the number of offenders using a method called relay crime.

This allows the thieves to hack into the car’s technology without using a key-fob to start a resident’s car.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “In recent days we have seen an increase in vehicle thefts using a method known as relay crime.

“This is where offenders use sophisticated technology to hack into your car’s computer and can drive it away in a matter of minutes.

“To prevent being a victim to this type of offence consider purchasing a RFID Pouch (also known as a Faraday Pouch).

“These are foil-lined and prevent the key-code being compromised.”