Thieves using technology can steal cars in seconds
22 April 2020
/ Andrew Burgess
You have probably heard news stories circulating about thieves stealing cars from a driveway without even having to break into a house and taking the keys. Modern cars have keyless entry and keyless starting which makes this type of theft possible.
Thieves carry a portable relay device that picks up the signal from the car’s key. The device copies this signal so that when the thief approaches the car, the car thinks the key is present. The thief can then enter the car as if they had the key. The door is unlocked, and they can start the car as if the key was present.
How do they do it?
The video below shows how criminals can target cars on the drive. They don’t even have to go into the house to steal the car. They simply put the relay device close to the door and the device does the rest. They are able to get into the car and drive away in a matter of seconds.
How to protect yourself
You can take measures to protect yourself from falling victim to this sort of crime. If a car is parked on a drive or outside a house, it is obvious to the thief which house the keys are likely to be in. Parking the car in a garage makes it a much harder target for thieves, though this is not always possible. Alternatively, parking further down the street makes it more difficult for the thieves to get the key signal from the house.
Car keys have a relatively short range, so leaving keys away from doors and windows means that they are less likely to be successfully targeted. The thieves will approach the windows and doors searching for the signal. If they can’t find a signal they are more likely to move on to another, easier target.
Further protection from theft can be gained by purchasing a signal blocking pouch / bag like this one. These are available £5-£10 from stores like amazon. They work by blocking the signal from anything in the pouch. This means that the thieves are unable to locate the signal to steal the car. Signal blocking pouches usually have space for more than one key, so more than one cars can be protected at once.