Keyless car theft a concerning reality

The frightening reality is that it is a crime so perfectly executed that it is almost impossible to spot, as thieves are making off with high-end vehicles while their owners blissfully go about their business. An industry expert has some advice to repel these attempts, however.

If you own a keyless car, you will be flabbergasted to know how easy it is for criminals to bypass this technology.

An actuality programme recently featured this, and showed that thieves can still steal your keyless car in a matter of seconds. It also showed that insurance claim statistics indicate five to six keyless cars are stolen daily, and these numbers are increasing.

Dewald Ranft, the chairperson of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (Miwa), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, says Miwa workshops have received several queries from concerned motorists. He says motorists have by now become more au fait with jamming attacks and are used to double-checking their car is locked before leaving, but one new tactic, relay theft, is so much more sophisticated and leaves all models with keyless entry and start systems vulnerable.

Dewald Ranft

So, how exactly does keyless car theft happen?

Ranft says the criminals work in teams of up to six people to actually ‘hijack’ a vehicle’s key signal. The owner believes the car to be safe once he has checked that it is locked. The theft requires a minimum of two people with two suitcases/folders that act as a scanner/amplifier and data receiver/transmitter. They communicate with the car’s key and intercept the vehicle’s opening signal and are able to start the engine. It only takes 30 seconds. The criminals then often use a jammer to prevent the car’s tracker signal from being picked up. They buy themselves time until a new key can be programmed, which takes just 30 minutes.

Those looking for a  simple solution can revert to old-time techniques with a steering wheel lock or gear lock, or you can keep your key in a metal tin or something called a Faraday pouch or a ‘fob guar’, which is made from materials that block signals like these.

Ranft says there is also another easier way with an electronic key fob. “It is also easy to deactivate. You just need to double-tap the key fob in your pocket or bag to open the door and start the engine. Installation is also simple. It has the form of a clip, which can be easily and quickly put on the key fob battery without interfering with the car’s electrical system.”

Electronic key fobs can be fitted by a qualified technician.

Source: Cathy Findley PR


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