In this recently released footage from West Midlands Police of a ‘relay crime’ you can see two criminals holding black boxes next to a vehicle and a house. These boxes are being used to replicate the car key’s signal to deceive it into unlocking the doors. The relay box receives a signal from the car key and transmits it to the second box held next to the car. Thieves are then able to gain entry and drive off with vehicles within minutes, without needing the owner’s key. The police are encouraging the public to take steps to secure their vehicle to help prevent this type of crime.
3D Autokeys are specialist auto locksmiths. They have been offering their advice on how to protect vehicles against keyless entry theft.
Kerry Akers, Manager of 3D Autokeys said “Thieves are always finding new ways around vehicle security and therefore car owners have to be more vigilant and proactive in how they protect their vehicle. Sometimes it’s not enough to rely on the car’s standard security features, particularly in the wake of these new keyless entry crimes”.
What is keyless entry and who is affected?
Keyless entry theft targets vehicles that have a proximity system. This is a popular feature on many new cars, where a remote key communicates with a car via radio waves to open doors and start the engine. This technology allows the vehicle owner to approach the car, unlock it and drive the car without taking the key out of their pocket or handbag.
The radio signal between the vehicle and the proximity key is now being exploited by thieves. A relay box picks up the car key signal from inside the house and then fools the car’s security system into thinking the car key is present. These signals can be extended over a wide radius, irrespective of whether the original key is in your home.
How do you protect against keyless entry theft?
Good security measures are crucial in helping to deter thieves and protecting your vehicle. There are numerous ways that vehicle owners can reduce the opportunity for thieves and there are a few good practical steps to consider.
Store keys in a lead lined box or wallet
By keeping your car keys in a lead lined box or wallet it will block the radio signal between the key and the vehicle will be blocked, meaning that thieves will be unable to hack the signal and gain entry to your car.
Keep car in a secured garage
If you have a garage then we would recommend keeping your vehicle out of sight in a locked garage when at home, especially overnight. This will help to deter thieves as they cannot simply take it off your driveway.
Fit a tracking device if possible
Vehicles can still be recovered after they’ve been stolen by fitting your vehicle with a tracking device. You can set up the tracker to notify you when the vehicle has been removed from your property, for example.
Install an additional immobiliser
By fitting an additional immobiliser device to your vehicle, it will prevent the engine from running unless the correct key or token is present. Meaning that thieves can’t start the vehicle even if they boost the car key signal.
Invest in security lights
These act as a deterrent as potential thieves cannot operate under the protection of darkness.
If you’re worried about your vehicle security, 3D Autokeys have an expert team of auto locksmiths who can help advise you on how best to help protect your vehicle, their number is 0115 952 2772 or you can visit www.3dautokeys.co.uk.