The ‘relay’ method needs just two car thieves working together to steal a car from the outside


The UK based car tracking company TRACKER are warning car owners about a smart new technique being used by thieves to steal vehicles without having to break into a property.

The ‘relay’ method needs only two criminals working together to steal a car from outside the owner of a vehicle’s home using this clever keyless entry system.

One car thief stands near the property’s door so they’re in range of the owner’s car key fob. A smart device is then used by the criminals which picks up the signal from the fob and relays it to the car outside. If it works, the two thieves can start the car and drive away without the owner even knowing their vehicle has been stolen.

New technique being used by thieves to steal cars without having to break in

The ‘relay’ method needs just two car thieves working together to steal a car from outside © Copyright Nigel Mykura and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


TRACKER’S head of police liason Andy Barrs, says their company is now seeing more and more car thefts recorded as ‘stolen without keys’, showing how electronic and cyber manipulation is compromising vehicle protection and therefore increasing the number of cars stolen.

This new clever method of stealing cars has already taken hold in Germany and the US and is becoming widely used in the UK too, so the people at TRACKER at warning vehicle owners to remain vigilant and protect their belongings by ensuring their key fob is not left in a place where they could be compromised.

Research carried out in Germany found that BMWs and Peugeots were being targeted the most using this clever new keyless technique, however testers discovered they could unlock a large selection of other makes and models of cars using the ‘relay’ method.

According to TRACKER, vehicles most affected by this new keyless theft technology are the Ford Focus, BMW 7 Series, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Golf.

Car thieves can get their hands on this clever device for a mere £80 off the internet, so car owner’s are being advised to consider purchasing a Faraday cage to place their key fob into for protection, as this blocks the electronic signal, or possibly looking at fitting a tracker on their vehicle – this may not stop your vehicle from being stolen but can help the police to locate your car and hopefully have it returned to you as quickly as possible.


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