European gangs are targeting one specific type of car in Ireland
Irish car owners are warned to be extra vigilant after a spate of car thefts.
It's believed that European gangs are stealing cars by using a gadget that they bought from the internet. They're targeting BMWs in particular.
The gadget, known as a signal jammer, costs just €35 and allows access to cars without forced entry.
Most recently, a Garda's personal car was stolen from outside his house in Meath using one of the signal jammers.
Speaking to The Sun, a source said: "These criminals are very professional and have been operating all over Europe for the last year.
"They hadn’t been seen in Ireland for some time but it looks as if they’re back again. Their main targets are people with BMW cars.
"Once they steal the cars, the vehicles are then smuggled to the north before eventually ending up in Eastern Europe after they have been cloned."
The signal jammers are used to prevent a car owner from locking their vehicle. Unfortunately, because they access the cars without forced entry, insurance companies don't cover it.
Commenting on the recent thefts, a retired Detective, Sergeant Finbarr Garland, said: “I’ve heard about these gadgets being used to override the signal. Motorists can only do so much to protect their vehicles.
"The criminals are getting more and more hi-tech. Motorists and the industry need to be aware of that.”