Vehicle Theft – Relay Awareness

Police have recently seen instances whereby vehicle owners have had their car stolen yet they are still in possession of both keys and there are no signs of forced entry to the vehicle. This may suggest that criminals are using a technique called ‘relay theft’.

How it works

Each of the thieves carries a ‘relay box’ – a device that relays the signal from the car key to the car.

One thief gets near enough to the key (in the house) to pick up the signal, relays it to the second box carried by the second thief who’s near enough to the car for the signal to be transmitted to it and trigger the unlocking. The criminals can then drive away in the stolen car, and to replace the locks at a later date.

Here are a few steps you can take:-

  1. Keep your key device in a ‘Faraday pouch’ which has a lining that prevents the items inside from receiving or transmitting radio frequency signals.
  2. Check vehicle doors are locked before walking away.
  3. Listen for the central lock engaging and watch for indicators flashing when locking the car
  4. Do not store keys near windows or doors
  5. If you buy a second-hand keyless car, get the key reprogrammed
  6. Make sure the key and any spares are stored securely and safely
  7. Consider having an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) lock professionally fitted
  8. Electronic OBD security is available – seek the main dealer’s advice.
  9. Use a steering wheel lock
  10. Installation of a Pedal Box that encases the driving pedals in a high visibility secure box
  11. Install a manufacturers GPS tracker app if they have one e.g landrover etc

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