Bungling car thieves use jammer technology to set off alarms

Updated: 
robber and the thief hijacks the car

Car thieves are turning to ever more sophisticated measures to get around increasingly complex vehicle security systems. One gang of crooks, however, might want to go back to the drawing board after setting off dozens of cars alarms with a high-tech jamming device.

The thieves had intended to steal from scores of cars at Manchester's Fort Shopping Park by using a device designed to block the signal from owner's key fobs – meaning their cars would stay unlocked.

However, it's believed that the thieves didn't quite understand how their gizmo worked, and inadvertently set off the cars' alarms, attracting the attention of nearly everyone at the retail park in the Cheetham Hill area.

Mum Autumn Depoe-Hughes was at the Fort Shopping Park when the thieves struck at around 4.30pm on Sunday. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, she said: "We got out of the car and I started walking towards the shops when [her son] Elias came running behind me to say the car wouldn't lock. So I went back to the car and then realised there were loads of car alarms going off.

"There were lots of other people standing at their cars trying to do the same thing. No-one could understand what was going on.

"I've heard about the jamming devices and think it was being used on a large scale, much larger than I think the thieves had planned."

With incidents of vehicle crime involving such technology on the rise, Greater Manchester Police has warned drivers to physically ensure their car is locked before leaving it unattended.

Ms Depoe-Hughes captured a video showing the chaos resulting from the criminals' actions. Check it out below.