The gardaí have issued a warning to motorists after thieves used signal blockers to steal from cars in the midlands this week.
The blockers were used in thefts in Westmeath, and those thefts prompted Gardaí in the midlands to advise motorists to make sure their cars are locked before they walk away from them.
Two cars were stolen from the car park of the Golden Island Shopping Centre in Athlone.
The signal blockers are used by thieves to prevent someone locking their car by remote control.
The blocker, which is usually operated by someone near the vehicle, prevents the car from locking, and if the owner does not notice, the thieves can simply open the car door when the driver is gone.
Gardaí are advising motorists to extra vigilant and to check their car door handles after locking in order to ensure the car is locked before leaving the area.