Thieves intercept key fob signal to steal vehicle

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Updated Nov 29, 2017

After watching this video, you may wonder if your vehicle will ever be safe from thieves.

Police in the United Kingdom have released what might be the first-ever surveillance video of thieves using high-tech equipment to intercept and replicate the signal of a nearby key fob allowing them to quickly gain access and steal a vehicle.

Both thieves are seen getting out of a car stopped on a residential street next to a Mercedes sedan. Both are carrying devices that police call ‘relay boxes.’

One of the thieves stands next to the car in the driveway while the other walks towards the home and waves around a device that police say picks up the signal of the vehicle’s key fob inside the home. The other thief waiting by the car then recreates the key fob’s signal, gets into the vehicle and drives off. The heist takes about a minute and 30 seconds.

The relay boxes can detect the signal of a key fob through walls, windows, doors, but not metal. To help protect against this high-tech theft, police recommend using a steering wheel lock and installing a GPS tracking device on your vehicle. The Mercedes stolen in this video has not been recovered.