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Keyless or relay theft, and how to combat it...

With the advent of keyless key technology. Car crime has dramatically increased, so what is this and how can you protect yourself from becoming the next victim?

Which? consumer group, recently commssioned a report into keyless theft, and found that the five best selling models in the UK are at risk from keyless theft.

What is Keyless Car Theft?

'Keyless' cars work by having the key in proximity to the vehicle, so no need to press a button or put a key in the car lock. Using this technology, thieves steal the vehicle in the following way, using a device to boost the signal from a car key.

Step 1 – The device picks up the signal, that is continuously transmitted by the key, and then 'tricks' the car into thinking the real key is next to the car.

Step 2– Obviously this fools the car into thinking the real key is next to it, and allows the doors to be opened and the car driven away, with absolutely no damage to the vehicle at all...

What sort of proximity do the thieves need to be to my vehicle?

Thieves only need to be within a few metres from your car keys to capture the signal.   

Relay Crime is NOT new unfortunately...

Keyless technology originally came out in the 90's, and as such the advent of keyless car crime...

The action of the car theft itself can take as little as 20 seconds, with little or no noise, except that of the car starting.

Sadly we all to often hear of this type of crime...

What device is used in Relay Car Theft?

Relay crime is when a certain type of specialist electronic equipment captures the signal from the Key and transmits it to a receiver that somebody standing next to the car has.

Is My Land Rover Keyless Entry?

If you have to push a button on your Land Rover keys to enter your car, you are not at risk of being “hacked”.

Only Land rovers with a keyless entry system can be stolen using so called “relay” equipment. This applies to any Land Rover discovery or Range Rover after 2010

Keyless entry Land Rovers allow the driver to unlock and start the car with the key fob still in their pocket.  Once in the car, the driver can press a button to start the engine.

How long does it take to steal the vehicle?

Keyless car theft can take only 20-30 seconds.

Prevent Keyless Car Theft ( Quick Tips )

To protect your keyless entry from being a victim of relay theft, here some are some quick tips:

1. Keep your car keys safe – Use a blocking pouch

car key burglaries are on increase, why not keep your car keys in a safe!

If you have a ‘keyless entry’ car then make sure your keys are kept well away from doors and windows.

Furthermore look at keeping the key in a faraday pouch to prevent any signals being transmitted. these are available here. Also, ensure the spare key is also in a faraday pouch!

Fact: Signal Blocking pouches are also known as Faraday Bags or Pouches

Putting your keys in a signal blocking pouch will stop any thieves from being able to amplify the signal used in relay theft.

Signal Blocking Pouch protecting car key fob

A Signal blocking pouch can protect your keys  |  Image provided by our supplier Solon Security

How much do signal blocking pouches cost?

Ours cost under £5. a great additional layer to any after market security.

2.  Turn off Keyless Fob’s Wireless Signal 

Do you have a keyless fob? Wireless signals on some keyless fobs can be switched off.

To turn off you should look in your Land Rover manual to see if you can do this.

3. Use a Steering Wheel Lock and a tracker

Yes, we know, you threw out the wheel lock back in the 90’s.

Most modern car thieves are equipped with laptops rather than hand tools, so mechanical devices – such as steering wheel locks – can be a real deterrent.

Steering Wheel Lock

A Steering Wheel Lock can prevent keyless car theft

When purchasing a security device look out for branding such as secured by design whereby the product is tested against tools used by criminals such as Crowbars and Angle Grinders.

A tracker can reduce your car insurance

If you haven’t got a factory-fitted tracker from Land Rover we can help, and you may be able to reduce the cost of your car insurance by fitting a Trackstar Land Rover approved tracker

Check with your insurer that  the tracker fits in with their requirements, there are different levels of approval by Thatcham, S7, S5 S5 advance and Cat 5 So check what the insurance company will require in order to insure the vehicle. These trackers are available here.

4. Re-programme your keys

If you buy a second-hand vehicle, there is a risk that you may not be given all of the sets of car keys.

car key programming - prevent keyless car theft

Reprogramming your car keys can stop thieves using stolen keys

If you're unsure if you have all sets of keys then best to play it safe and ensure you get them reprogrammed. we recomend finding a local locksmith to save on Dealers costs...

5. Park defensively…

Parking your car in a garage overnight is ideal, however its not a luxure every one has! If you’re parking on your driveway, park defensively i.e. as close to your property as you can so that access is made difficult.

Extra Security to Consider

Consider fitting outdoor motion detector lighting and CCTV, and if you park on the street ensure it’s in an area that is well lit.

We also do a number of other measures to secure your Defender, Range Rover or Discovery.

6. Keep your vehicle tidy

We’ve all heard it, but how many still don’t follow the advice...

Try to keep your Land Rover clear of any obvious clutter. to make it less enticing to want to break in... Make sure items like Satnavs and mobile phones are hidden from sight. If you can, leave the glove box empty and why not leave your glove box open to show you’ve got nothing to hide...

Don’t forget to hide any signs of high-cost equipment as well, such as the marks that Sat-Nav suction cups leave on your windscreen!

7. Get your windows etched

Use a Datatag kit to ensure parts can't be sold on easily... moreover, if a complete vehicle has this kit fitted, then it will be very hard to sell on complete...

8. If you lose your keys

Lost car keys image

Should you lose you keys, make sure that only the keys you have cannot be used by the thief, removing all others in your vehicles database, this will stop any stolen keys being used. 

Keyless Car Theft – Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Car Insurance Cover Keyless Car theft?

Keyless car crime has been directly linked to an increase in car thefts. 

Most Car insurance policies will cover theft if your car is stolen because of keyless theft, but they may require proof that you still have all available keys (we recommend checking with your insurer).

Are Car Manufacturers doing anything to Prevent Keyless Car Theft?

Yes, some car manufacturers are introducing preventative measures to help prevent keyless cars from being stolen.

However we also have a fantastic new product that will keep the convenience of a keyless key called the 'keyless protector' this is available here.

Still not sure what to do to protect your vehicle from keyless crime? feel free to get in touch with us direct at:

01489 630024
will@landroverdefendersecurity.com

 


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