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Police warn car owners after thieves hack entry fobs to steal vehicles

The thieves gain entry to the car Credit: Norfolk Police

Police have released CCTV showing thieves stealing a car by hacking into its keyless entry fob.

It's part of a warning to drivers about protecting cars with the hi-tech opening devices.

Norfolk Police say there've been a number of similar offences in the county.

The theft shown happened at approximately 12.50am on Friday 9 February 2018 where a car parked at a house on Sandy Lane in Taverham was stolen. The Lexus RX, index SL13XOX, remains unaccounted for and the investigation is ongoing.

The thieves use radio transmitters to copy the car's key fob Credit: Norfolk Police

Norfolk is seeing a steady rise in the number of high value vehicle thefts which use a keyless entry system. Criminals are exploiting the vulnerabilities of keyless entry system using pairs of radio transmitters by capturing the signal from the car’s fob. Keyless entry are those that allow drivers to open and start the vehicle without even touching the fob or even removing it from their pocket.

– Sergeant Toby Gosden

Police have issued the following security advice.

  • Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
  • Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
  • Store your keys away from household entry points and windows. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify the signal. Drivers are also being urged to keep both sets of keys in a faraday cage or pouch which blocks the signal from the fob.
  • Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the Police.
  • Review your car security. Check for aftermarket security devices such as mechanical locks (steering / gearstick/ pedal / wheel clamp) and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves.

If you would like any advice or have any information regarding these offences please contact Sgt Toby Gosden on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.