With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, it has been reported that car theft cases are on the rise once more. As we begin travelling out of our homes again, thieves and organised crime groups are taking this as their opportunity to make away with our vehicles. Statistics for the end of June 2021 compared to the end of January 2021 saw a 32% increase in car theft.
Keyless car theft
Police forces across the UK claim the majority of car theft cases they deal with are down to keyless theft. For owners of keyless cars, this is a new concern. With many car owners unaware of the additional measures they can take to prevent this kind of theft.
Thieves, particularly those working as part of an organised crime group or OCG, are using what is known as ‘relay technology’. This works to retrieve the key’s signal from inside the home of the car owner. This means, thieves are gaining access to vehicles while many car owners are sleeping inside their homes – undisturbed. With this technology, they can simply transfer the key’s signal to a portable device and unlock the vehicle. Allowing them to drive away without causing a disturbance. Some gangs of thieves have been caught on CCTV completing this process within as little as 60 seconds!
How to avoid Keyless Car Theft
As technology advances for car owners, making driving simpler, thieves continue to catch up with the latest systems. Finding new ways steal vehicles. Police find these vehicles are often sold for parts or shipped abroad where they have been stolen to order. Police officials are now encouraging various steps car owners should take to prevent this type of theft.
The basics of car security
This includes top tips from police forces up and down the country, including:
- Always lock your car
- Close your windows and sunroof
- Park your car in secure parking areas
- Hide valuables and do not leave them in your car overnight
- Keep your key fob or device in a metal tin. This should prevent the relay technology from retrieving the key’s signal. Protective pouches have also been designed for this exact purpose.
To prevent the total movement of your vehicle, putting a physical barrier in the way of the thieves, using devices such as steering wheel locks, driveway parking posts and wheel clamps are still popular methods. If thieves are successful at unlocking your vehicle, these physical barriers will work to prevent them from driving away with your car – stopping them in their tracks. Anything that creates an issue for thieves, which would require them spending more time on your property, is likely to prevent them from making any sort of attempt to steal your vehicle.
Thieves will bypass any physical barrier in their way if a crime has been meticulously planned and specifically targeted to a particular vehicle. For this, a vehicle tracker is the best piece of technology available. Police can quickly access the data from your device and locate your vehicle. Increasing the chances of retrieving the vehicle. All before the vehicle is sold for parts or shipped abroad.