Thieves in DC targeting high-end cars with keyless technology

- As technology evolves, thieves and their techniques to swipe our goods are evolving as well.

FOX 5 first told viewers last summer about thieves targeting cars with keyless entry to break in. It turns out their method has expanded. Police say burglars are now targeting high-end cars.

In the listserv for the Palisades neighborhood of Washington D.C., police say the vehicles being targeted are 2008 and newer.

“In reference to the rash of tampering, unlawful entry and theft stolen autos affecting the 205 area I have identified the process suspects are using to enter and/or steal vehicles. Makes being targeted are 2008 and newer Audi's, Volvo's and Acura's,” posted Officer Rhonda Hardy.

“I don't have keyless entry so I don't have to worry,” said a Palisades resident who only wanted to be identified as “John.” “I got an old car with an old fashioned deal and most of the stuff that I have got in my car, they are not going to want anyway.”

John also told us that he has “cleaned out the glove compartment. There is nothing there and if they want to come in and spend the night, I just hope they are not filthy.”

Some Palisades residents are dealing with the same problem that struck Glover Park last summer as thieves have broken into cars with the help of keyless entry.

Police say the criminals are using a device that amplifies the signal used in keyless entry fobs to get inside a car without force. If the car is parked in front of a home and the keys are close enough to the car, the plot works.

This YouTube video shows it all as this is reportedly footage of a real theft using the high-end technique as well as a demonstration by researchers.

 

D.C. police say thieves are going one step further. Once inside the car, they are searching for the model key and hollow fob that come with many cars for valet purposes. If they are both present, it is possible to override the electrical system and turn on the ignition.

 

There are ways to avoid becoming a victim of this high-tech theft:

- Car gurus recommend placing keys in a location where they cannot transmit to your car – for example, a freezer.
- People can also use a faraday cage or bag to block the transmission of unwanted radio signals.

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