Officers from the Sheffield South East Neighbourhood Policing Team said they have noticed an ‘increase in thefts of motor vehicles, particularly ones with keyless entry’ in their district, which includes Manor, Arbourthorne and Gleedless Common.
They told how relay amplifiers can be used to pick up the signal transmitted from car keys and a receiver picks up and replicates the amplified signal from the key.
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This causes the car to be fooled into thinking the legitimate owner is there, allowing the vehicle to be unlocked and driven away.
The team issued a number of crime prevention tips in order to reduce the changes of your vehicle being stolen.
They said: “The first step is to keep your key as far away from your car as possible, and as far away from the windows and doors of your house, making it harder for criminals to detect and amplify your key signal.
“A Faraday pouch or box uses a metallic lining to block radio waves from your keys so they can’t be amplified by crooks. They’re readily available online, and fairly inexpensive as well, with prices starting from as little as £5. While these are regarded as pretty effective, there’s no guarantee that they can block 100% of the signal from your key.”
The team added: “There’s no point in a thief going to all the effort of getting your car started if they can’t physically get it off the driveway. If you’re in a two-car household, and one of the cars doesn’t have keyless entry, use it to block the other one in. Failing this, you could also fit a lockable post to your driveway.
“A steering lock will be a better solution for most people, though. These act both as a visual deterrent, and will add significant time to the job of stealing your car. The same is true of wheel clamps that lock around your car’s wheels, or a pedal box that encases your car’s accelerator, brake and clutch pedals.”
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