Modern technology has brought many benefits and a lot of convenience to car drivers. But with new developments come new risks. Many drivers have become victims to a new type of car crime; ‘keyless’ theft.
Thieves have learned to take advantage of cars fitted with keyless entry by using so-called ‘relay boxes’ to boost the signal from the vehicle’s key, which may be inside the driver’s house, enabling them to open and start the car without so much as breaking a window.
An example of this type of incident was recently captured on CCTV, since released by West Midlands Police as a warning to other car drivers:
Sergeant Tim Evans of Solihull Police, speaking with technology website GearBrain, said: “It’s important the public are reassured that we are taking proactive steps to tackle this type of crime…We hope that knowledge of this type of crime will enable members of the public to take simple steps to secure their vehicle and assist us.”
Another type of keyless car theft which has become prevalent exploits the vehicle’s own on-board computer, and the relatively easy access to it via the car’s OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) port, usually located in the driver’s footwell.
In these cases, thieves will carefully break a window to obtain access to the car, without setting off the alarm. Once inside, a readily available OBD connector is used to connect to the car’s computer and disable the alarm and code a new key to the vehicle. The car can then be simply driven away.
Days Fleet recommends that drivers take the following simple steps to thwart any ‘keyless’ theft attempts:
- Store car keys away from the entry points to your home, such as the front door. The further the key is away from a potential thief, the more difficult it will be for them to boost and relay the signal to the car.
- Consider using aftermarket security devices such as a steering wheel lock, specialist asset recovery tracker or OBD port protector to deter and prevent keyless theft.
- Report any suspicious activity in your area to the police.
Jay Lovell, Client Services Manager at Days Fleet said: “Whilst car technology is always evolving, it is clear that criminals are keeping up with the pace of these developments. Forewarned is forearmed and we hope that by raising drivers’ awareness of these new types of theft, we can help them avoid the ordeal of becoming victims of crime.”
For more information about how Days Fleet can help you keep your company car fleet secure, please contact us on 0345 815 0019.