Urgent warning for drivers as thieves use wireless signals from keys to steal cars

CUNNING car criminals can steal motors from a driveway – without breaking into a house to get the keys first, police have warned.

Experts have urged motorists to keep their keys in empty drinks cans or even the microwave as it's a better way of protecting vehicles.

It comes after a locked BMW was stolen from outside a home in Belfast last week by a crook who didn't enter the property first to search for the fob.

Detective Sergeant Best of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "With advances in technology, thieves are now able to gain access to your vehicle by redirecting the wireless signal from your key fob.

“Motor vehicles are extremely expensive, and owners should take the same precautions as they do with home security.

“Where possible, keep your car in a garage or lock your driveway gates."

Motorists should consider other forms of security too, he said.

CAR CRIME

“Use physical car locks such as steering column locks and chains, as well as keeping all car keys – including spares – away from exterior doors and walls," DS Best said.

“Motorists are also advised to use a blocking pouch also called a Faraday pouch, which is lined with metallic material, to help block the wireless signal from your key fob.

“Establish a routine to help keep your vehicle safe, including using your garage if available to secure your vehicle.”

Adam Farmiloe told car fans in a viral YouTube video that keys can be stored in any type of can to help foil criminals.

He tested the theory with Fanta, Coca-Cola and Carlsberg tins whilst sitting in his Ford Fiesta ST.

Despite being inside the keyless motor, he was unable to turn it on.

MOTORS WARNING

Cops believe would-be thieves roam close to properties at night with a relay amplifier and transmitter in the hope of receiving signals from keys.

They are then able to trick the vehicle into thinking the key fob is next to the vehicle.

Putting keys in something metallic can stop the signal being transmitted.

Any car operated with the system can be more vulnerable to theft – although some models are more secure than others.

Jaguar Land Rover has fitted some models with ultra-wide-band radio technology, which transmits over a wide range of frequency channels so thieves can’t trace the code, heycar.co.uk says.

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People in Leicester, Slough and Swindon are the most likely to become victims of car theft, stats from the DVLA reveal.

And Ford Fiestas, VW Golfs, Ford Focuses and Vauxhall Corsas are the most-popular cars to be nicked.

Well-off postcodes saw pricier cars on thieves' radars – with Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery models among the vehicles most likely to be taken.

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