Police and criminal defense lawyers are warning car owners with keyless locking system that thieves can now steal cars in less than 1 minute using a new high tech device that mimics the car’s electronic key.
The West Midlands U.K. Police Department released surveillance cam footage showing a theft taking place in Solihull U.K. on September 24, 2017. The video shows two people in full body suits using relay devices that trick the car into thinking the electronic key is nearby.
The video shows two men pulling up outside the victim’s house, both carrying relay boxes. The devices are capable of receiving signals through walls, doors and windows, but not metal.
In the footage, one of the men can be seen waving a relay box in front of the property. The box receives a signal from the key inside the house and transmits it to a second box next to the car.
The car’s systems are then tricked into thinking that the key is present and so it is unlocked. The thieves then drive off, with the whole crime taking just one minute.
To protect against this type of theft, owners can use an additional steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel according to Mark Silvester of the West Midlands Police crime reduction team. Owners can also keep their electronic keys located far from where thieves can access with the repeater device or store them inside a metal container that stops radio waves.
High-tech theft like this can also be prevented by ensuring a car has the latest software updates and additional tracking technology, police added in a press release.
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