The modern cars that roll off their respective production lines these days are technologically more advanced, immeasurably safer, and more desirable than ever before. The sheer amount of research and development that goes into making the cars we drive the most advanced they have ever been truly mind-blowing.
For all the effort that goes into marketing, selling, and owning these cars, works just as easily for those wanting to steal them. For all the technology that goes into making driving these modern masterpieces such a pleasure, has also brought with it an industry full of people looking to take what isn’t theirs. Car crime may have evolved from pushing a wire coat-hanger down the door of a car to unpick the locking mechanism, but the impact is just the same.
There’s no worse feeling than having your personal possessions, your personal space violated so, when it comes to car theft, we wanted to take a look at just how thieves go about stealing cars in these modern times. Forewarned is forearmed after all.
If you go back just a decade or two, car security was much more focused on physical deterrents and low-tech counter-measures. Thieves would have to smash a window, brute-force a door open and hot-wire the steering column. For car owners, protecting their cars meant tools like wheel clamps, steering wheel locks, handbrake covers were all common sights in car parks up and down the country.
As the technology used within cars increased and became more advanced, that balance shifted. Today, the vast majority of car security is centred around electronics and software. Everything from engine immobilisation and remote locks are controlled by zeros and ones. For car thieves, that has been a revelation.
Whilst keyless entry systems and push-button ignitions have become commonplace and are time-saving for consumers, they are the perfect opportunity for car thieves.
In many cases, car thieves will use your own car key to gain access to your vehicle. They won’t even have to mug you or pick-pocket you to get your key, they just need to be within a certain distance of your key fob and car.
They will use the signal emitted by your own key fob, detect it and then transmit it using a device that’s easily obtainable called a ‘repeater’. This signal gets to another thief standing next to the car with a receiver. Once the car detects the signal, it unlocks and can be started, and therefore driven away. This is a common practice when people leave their car keys next to the front door. The thief stands just outside the house with an accomplice next to your car and, before you know it, the car is gone. No smashed windows, no brute force.
How to Stop?
It’s easy to think there’s nothing you can do to stop this, but that’s not the case. Some of the easiest ways to stop this high-tech theft are decidedly low-tech. If you have a keyless entry on your car, either keep the key fob as far away from the car as possible when you’re not using it or alternatively, buy a Faraday case, pouch, or bag. This will stop the signal being emitted, giving the keys a ‘dead zone’, so no-one can intercept the signal.
If all else fails, having a car tracker installed on your vehicle will massively increase the chances of getting your stolen car, motorbike or motorhome back. You can see our range of trackers right here in our web store. There’s something to suit every vehicle and every budget.