"Relay Theft" Is On The Rise In Canada And Thieves Don't Even Need Your Key To Steal Your Car - Narcity

"Relay Theft" Is On The Rise In Canada And Thieves Don't Even Need Your Key To Steal Your Car

Police in Ontario have released a public safety alert about the spike in car theft during the winter.

Car theft has been an issue plaguing the city for a long time, to say the least. According to police, there has been a steady rise in car theft cases in Toronto since 2015. For this year, there are a total of 4,250 cases so far as of today. 

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Unfortunately, the new trend for stealing cars is one in which car owners have little control over if they aren't prepared, and it's being called "relay theft." This tactic specifically regards cars that have key fobs that allow them to connect to their car to open and start the car without being in it. 

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Thieves have actually been using the signal constantly transmitted from fobs to the car it's connected to in order to steal vehicles. Their tactic assumes that people leave their key fob near the front of their house, so they go up to the house with a device that amplifies the fob's signal.

By amplifying the signal, it creates the illusion that the fob is closer to the car than it actually is. The signal then opens the car and allows the thief to start the engine. 

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Considering that most of these vehicles have push start, a key isn't necessary for the getaway. The only way to get the car to stop would be if it ran out of gas or "you shut it down" according to Jeff Bates, an automotive security specialist who spoke with CBC about the issue.  

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Meaning that if you have a key fob, you may want to consider storing it further back in your house. You can also contain the signal by placing your key fob in a steel box or key pouch. While car manufacturers are claiming to be working on a fix for the issues, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry! 

Source: CBC News 

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