- Burglary. Binton Road. Rear door lock and handle attacked. Entry not gained. Possibly occurred around 1.45am Thursday 30th March. 0097 30/03/2023
Keyless vehicle theft
What is keyless entry? Vehicles with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the vehicle. This can be from inside a pocket or bag. If you have to push a button on your key to open your vehicle, you don’t have keyless entry.
What is keyless vehicle theft? Keyless vehicle theft or ‘relay theft’ is when a device is used to fool the vehicle into thinking the key is close by. This unlocks the vehicle and starts the ignition. Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your vehicle key to capture the signal, even if it’s inside your home. This means that even if your vehicle and home are secure, thieves can still unlock, start and steal it without gaining
access to your keys. If you have the kind of fob where you have to press a button to unlock your vehicle, then you’re not at risk from relay theft at all.
Keeping your vehicle safe from keyless theft – Don’t worry – there are a number of sensible precautions you can take to protect your vehicle from keyless entry theft.
• Consider buying a Faraday pouch and store your keyless fob in it – Faraday pouches – also known as signal blockers – work by blocking your key signal, which prevents would-be thieves from stealing your vehicle. They are readily available to buy for as little as £5. Make sure you test to see if your pouch works. You can do this by putting the key in it and walking up to your car and checking if it unlocks. Faraday pouches have a metal lining to block the signal and are more reliable but if you don’t have one, you could keep your keys in a metal box such as a biscuit tin may also work. Ensure you check this before you rely on it.
• Buy and fit tamper-proof screws to your number plate – When vehicles are stolen, thieves sometimes remove the number plates and replace them with false number plates that do not belong to the vehicle. With tamper-proof screws, it is virtually impossible to remove the plate without the locking tool.
• Keep fobs, including spares, well away from doors, windows and the vehicle itself – Think about the safest place to keep keys at home. The further away the fob is, the less likely the thieves are able to pick up the signal. This includes keeping your keys away from the front door, back door or windows. Check your owner’s manual to see if the fob can be switched off completely Where possible, ensure the fob is switched off every night when your vehicle is most vulnerable to keyless entry theft. You may also want to consider switching the fob off in the day for extra peace of mind.
• Reprogramme your key fob if you buy a second-hand vehicle – If you buy a second-hand vehicle that is a keyless entry, ensure your key fob is reprogrammed.
• Ask about getting a key fob with a motion sensor – The motion sensor detects when the fob has been stationary for a while, which triggers sleep mode. During sleep mode the fob no longer responds to the relay signals, protecting the vehicle however full functionality is restored when the owner moves the key. If you’ve got an older vehicle, it’s worth checking whether you can update your fob with a motion sensor.
How does keyless vehicle theft work? – Keyless entry vehicle theft involves thieves working in pairs to steal vehicles that are parked close to their owner’s home. One stands outside with a special device that remotely receives a signal from the key fob. The other stands next to the vehicle with a second device that receives a signal and unlocks your vehicle. The thieves are then able to quickly get into your vehicle and
drive away – in some cases this may take less than a minute.
Are keyless entry vehicles safe? – While relay attacks are becoming increasingly common, not every keyless entry vehicle is at risk, and some might be more secure than others.
For general advice on vehicle crime prevention please see Vehicle Crime Prevention Advice