Keyless Car Theft in the UK

12/12/2018

Recent studies show keyless car thefts are on the rise across England and Wales. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reported the total number of cars reported stolen in 2017 came to 43,308, which is 9,000 more than in 2016 and 13,000 more than 2015. This staging number of cars stolen reached has reached its highest level in six years!

Thieves are targeting keyless cars; popular marques include BMW, Ford, Audi, Jaguar / Land Rover, Ford, Volkswagen, and Audi – manufactures that heavily use this technology throughout their range of new and upcoming models.

Keyless unlocking or also known in the automotive industry as 'keyless entry' is a consumer convenience. How does it work? As long as your car's key-fob is on your persons whether in your bag, briefcase, jacket pocket your car senses the fob is with range and thus allowing you to open the driver's door; saves having to physically press the 'unlock' button.

There is a vulnerability surrounding cars that feature keyless entry, high-tech thieves are now using a sly and silent technique allowing them to access the vehicle and drive away. Thieves are using a method called 'Relay Theft', meaning they don't even need the original key-fob to access and then start the vehicle.

So how does a 'Relay Attack' work?
Car thieves operate in pairs. One will stand next to the targeted vehicle, while the other stands near the house with a device that can pick up the electromagnetic signals from the key-fob. Your key-fob could be left on a table or hook; they don't even need to break into your house. The equipment used captures and stores the signal, and some devices can pick up a signal from over 100 meters away.        

The signal is then relayed back to the transmitter held by the thief who is stood next to the vehicle. This causes the car to think the key-fob is within close proximity and promoting it to unlock. Keyless entry cars also have keyless ignition, and with thanks to this technology thieves can fire up the engine and drive-off. Once they have access to your vehicle and in their possession, they can quickly replace locks and entry devices.

It's not just cars; most new vans on the market today are beginning to feature keyless entry and keyless ignition.    

How can I prevent the risk of having my car / van  stolen?
Leisure Outlet welcomes a new product from Maypole LTD. Introducing the Maypole Car Key Signal Blocker - MP9046 sold as a pair this is the perfect protection for car keys and electronic key-fobs against radio frequency and relay theft. Place your key-fob inside the pouch and once sealed the signals are confined within the pouch, blocking Wi-Fi, GSM, LTE, NFC, and RF signals, preventing thieves from scanning your key-fob.

Consider using a Steering Wheel Lock!
Keyless cars electronically lock the steering wheel when either turning off the ignition or when you walk away from the vehicle. However, this system is flawed should someone have made a clone of your key-fob, as when the thieves start the ignition the inbuilt electronic steering wheel lock will disengage. By using a Steering Wheel Lock when parking up, you will deter thieves away within the first few seconds! Steering Wheel Locks are highly-visible, brightly coloured and will require a physical key to remove the clamp. Steering Wheel Locks available at Leisure OutletCLICK HERE.

One we like!
MP9045 - Maypole Universal Dashboard Steering Wheel Lock
- Introducing from Maypole the highly visible theft deterrent for your vehicle when left parked, whether at home, at the campsite, supermarket or when left in the local NCP. This Universal Dashboard Steering Wheel Lock prevents steering wheel rotation!

Steering Wheel Locks can be stored under your seat and are a great alternative to using Wheel Clamps!

Can't find what you are looking for? Don't hesitate to speak to us on Live Chat on our website or call us on 0115 784 5942.

Video: Keyless Car Thieves in Action
Released footage of criminals stealing a car by relaying a signal from the key inside the home to the car in the driveway, (West Midlands Police, UK)