Police Advise Motorists On How To Protect Keyless Cars From Thieves

Julie Allen (Police, Communications Officer, B)

As the theft of keyless cars is becoming an increasing problem nationally, Bedfordshire Police is issuing steps that you can take to help protect your vehicle.

Thieves are now using gadgets to prevent your key fob sending the command to lock your car, so it remains unlocked. Whilst this tool will not allow them to steal your car, it will allow potential burglars to root through your valuables.

One way to deter this is to make sure the indicators flash when you press the lock button and listen for the doors locking.

Another trick used is signal relaying. Thieves make sure the correct key fob is close by, the fob recognises the signal and transmits its own code, instructing the vehicle to unlock the doors and to allow the ignition to work on the car. They also use wireless transmitters to capture its radio transmission, which is relayed to another device.  It allows the thief to open and start your car in the same way.

One solution to this is to use car key signal blocker cases/sleeves, which cost less than £10, or an aluminium tin at home. Find a safe place for your keys and check to ensure they are out of range.

Every car has a standard diagnostic port fitted. Computer hackers have developed devices that plug into the port, boot up a vehicle’s software and then program a blank key fob. In keyless cars, this can be used to start the engine as well as unlock the doors.

You can avoid this by fitting a lock to your diagnostic port and using additional security such as a steering wheel lock.

Traditional methods, such as locks for the steering wheel and the handbrake, can deter this new wave of thieves, as can parking your car in a way that makes it difficult to get at. 

You can visit the Bedfordshire Police website for advice on how to keep all vehicles secure and protect you from becoming a victim of crime.