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Keyless car thieves steal £60k Land Rover

Eleanor newis
Feb 1, 2019

CCTV footage has been released that shows three masked thieves stealing a  £60,000 Land Rover in just 40 seconds — while the vehicle’s owners are asleep upstairs.

The footage captures how the men stole the car — using an amplifier or ‘relay device’ to fool the keyless security system into unlocking itself during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

One man can be seen holding the device, which is a piece of tech that can be bought online for only £80. His fellow thieves waited further back while the crime took place.

This theft only took 40 seconds and took place on the driveway of a property in Harborne, Birmingham.

Many people who have cars with keyless security systems use a device called a ‘faraday pouch’ to store their keys, which is supposed to make sure the keys’ signal is blocked and the car cannot be unlocked. However, the owners of this Land Rover did have such a device, and their car could still be taken.

This type of crime is becoming known as ‘relay theft’ and occurs when two criminals work together, using equipment to capture the electromagnetic signals emitted by key fobs.

One person stands by the vehicle with a transmitter, and another stands by the house with another transmitter. This device picks up the signal from the electronic key, which many unsuspecting drivers keep near their front door, or a table or hook.

This signal can then be relayed to the other transmitter situated by the vehicle, and this means the car thinks the key fob is near it. This prompts it to unlock.

The thieves can then drive the car away, as the ignition is also keyless. Then they can quickly replace the lock and any other devices on the car.

One of the victims in this case, a 36-year-old mother of two children, said:

‘Me and my partner were sleeping and I then got up to feed my baby at about 1am.

‘My husband then heard our car alarm go off at 1:40am so he looked out of the window and to his horror, there was a group of masked men jumping into our Land Rover Sport.’

She added: ‘It is clear that this type of crime is becoming the norm and accepted by society. People need to know they can’t get away with this sort of stuff.’

David Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for West Midlands Police, said:

‘Thefts involving electronic devices are on the up and it’s clear than manufactures could do more to make their vehicles secure.’

With keyless car theft on the rise, it is essential that you not only secure your car when it is locked and keep the key fob safe, but also purchase the right car insurance to make sure you have the best cover if an incident should occur.

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