BMW drivers given warning over bizarre new crime trend in Yorkshire

BMW drivers in West Yorkshire are being warned against a crime trend which is sweeping across the region.

West Yorkshire Police's neighbourhood watch team has put out a warning after a number of recent incidents where thieves are stealing steering wheels from the cars.

The email, which has been sent out to residents in the affected areas, said the most recent incident happened on Carr Lane in Castleford, where a steering wheel was stolen from a 21 plate BMW X3.

Police said thieves are targeting the steering wheels because they have a high resale value. They can cost up to £2,500 to replace.

Police have issued a warning to BMW drivers over a new crime trend in Wakefield

The email said: "This is a new crime trend in the Wakefield district but we want to raise awareness to this and offer advice to try and prevent this type of crime.

"Open source research shows that thieves mainly target the M Sport models, for their steering wheels, due to the current high resale value. These steering wheels are sportier and smaller than standard. They are also stolen for the airbags and the resale value of them as they can cost up to £2,500 to replace."

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The email also issued advice on how to prevent BMW owners from becoming victim to the crime:

- If you have a garage use it. Lock your vehicle in the garage, out of sight.

- A steering wheel lock - It’s a visual deterrent that adds an extra layer of security. Look for locks that are Sold Secure tested or Secured by Design (SBD) approved. Some locks have added alarms.

- Park in a safe, well lit area.

- If you have CCTV or a video doorbell make sure it covers your vehicle on the driveway. Most of these work on motion detection and alerts can be sent to your mobile phone to alert you of motion.

- Double check that your vehicle is locked.

- The use of forensic marking liquid – to mark and protect your property.