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Monday, 27 November 2017

How Thieves Can Steal Your Car WITHOUT Taking Your Keys: Mercedes Is Stolen From Driveway In Just One Minute Using 'Relay Boxes' To Connect With Key Inside The Owner's House

CCTV footage shows the men waiting briefly for the relay boxes to pick up a signal from the car's key before its lights flash and the doors are opened 
Police have today released one of the first CCTV films of a high-tech 'relay' car theft in the UK where a gang stole an expensive new car in a minute without needing its keys.
The two hooded criminals were able to override the Mercedes' security system in the Elmdon area of Solihull, Birmingham at 9pm on September 25 and the luxury vehicle has never been recovered. 

The footage shows the men pull up outside the victim's house. One can be seen waving a relay box in front of property, which searches for a signal from the key inside the house and transmits it to the second box next to the car. 
CCTV footage shows the men waiting briefly for the relay boxes to connect before the Mercedes' lights flash and the doors are opened.


The thieves then drive off with the whole crime only taking one minute to complete.
The thefts are becoming so widespread that drivers  have been advised to take precautions as storing it in a safe because metal can repel relay signals and using a traditional steering wheel lock.
Police have released the first footage of a high-tech 'relay' car theft where a gang stole an expensive new car without needing its keys
Relay car unlocking systems are available on sites such as eBay for around £100.
Gangs use them to steal new cars - often to order - and brands targeted have included BMW, Ford, Audi, Land Rover, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Mercedes.
The car's locking system is tricked into thinking the car key is unlocking it, allowing access to the vehicle

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team, said: 'To protect against this type of theft, owners can use an additional tested and Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.
'We also recommend Thatcham-approved tracking solutions fitted to the vehicle.
'It is always worth speaking to your main dealer, to ensure that your car has had all the latest software updates and talk through security concerns with them.'


Sgt Tim Evans, from Solihull Police, said: 'It's important the public are reassured that we are taking proactive steps to tackle this type of crime in Solihull.
'We hope that knowledge of this type of crime will enable members of the public to take simple steps to secure their vehicle and assist us.'

High-tech thefts that use your key indoors to unlock your car outside

What is relay theft? 

Theft relay occurs when two thieves work together to break into cars which have keyless entry systems.
The thieves can use equipment to capture signals emitted by certain keys which are used to start new vehicles.

One thief stands by the car with a transmitter, while the other stands by the house with another, which picks up the signal from the key which is usually kept near the front door on a table or hook.
This is then relayed to the other transmitter by the vehicle, causing it to think the key is in close proximity and prompting it to open. Thieves can then drive the vehicle away and quickly replace the locks and entry devices.
Technically, any vehicle with keyless entry could be vulnerable to relay theft. 

These included cars from BMW, Ford, Audi, Land Rover, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Mercedes cars.

How can you protect your vehicle against relay theft?

According to research by the Institute of the Motor Industry, over half of motorists are worried their car could be accessed and stolen by remote thieves.
Fifty per cent of people surveyed weren't aware that their car might be vulnerable to cyber attacks, and while drivers shouldn't become paranoid about the safety of their car it's always a good idea to take precautions.

This has long been a necessary precaution in order to avoid car theft, but it's important to make sure that your key is as far from the front door as possible so its signal can't be picked up.

As hacking devices get more sophisticated, they may be able to pick up signals from further away.

This may seem a bit excessive, but a metal box could be the best place to store your keys overnight as the metal could block the signal being detected.
Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral said: 'Unfortunately, we do see a claims from customers who have had their cars stolen due to relay theft and it's a problem that we would advise motorists with keyless cars to be aware of.
'Despite progresses in anti-theft technology, thieves are always coming up with new ways to make off with your vehicle.
'We are urging all of our customers to keep their keys a safe distance from the door and consider storing them in a metal box. While this may seem like an extreme solution, relay theft is an extreme practice.'



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