Buyers' advice, driving tips, Motoring News, vehicle security

Beat the clicker thieves: Tracker tells how to keep your car safe

LONDON, England – Crime reports published by the British government indicate the frequency of car theft is rising again in England and Wales. How much? By 15% through 2016/17 and by 40% through the last five years.

Anti-vehicle theft experts Track believe the cause is the growing use of vehicle keyless locking and entry. Yes, those little boxes with (usually) a red button to be pressed by the vehicle user when approaching and leaving the metal equivalent of many thousands of rands.

This belief has caused Tracker to intensify vehicle security because (wait for it!) they went walkabout without using the owner’s ignition key: 80% of them that were recovered by Tracker through 2017.

CRIMINAL CO-OPERATION PAYS OFF

Clive Wain, Tracker’s head of police liaison, told The Corner: ”We’re seeing more and more keyless car-theft across Britain. It’s fair to say that criminals continue to stay one step ahead of manufacturers and ‘relay attack’ is one method car thieves have increasingly adopted.

”This involves two criminals working together using an electronic signal relay to intercept a key fob signal – usually from within the victim’s home. Cars are being stolen and driven off within seconds.

”It’s clear that people are unintentionally leaving themselves vulnerable to such thefts by putting their keys in easy reach of relay devices.”

BETTER SECURITY, CHEAPER PREMIUMS

A British insurance representative s said criminals were exploiting the vulnerabilities of the entry system with pairs of radio transmitters to capture the signal from the vehicle’s fob, among other methods.

Wain added: “The theft risk will be one of many factors considered when assessing policy charges. The good news is that simple precautions are easy. The relay devices can receive a signals through walls, doors and windows – but not metal.

READ MORE about vehicle security here

”So,  putting car keys in a metal tin or the microwave is a cost-effective way (provided you don’t turn on the microwave!) to thwart the criminals. An alternative is to invest in a metallised signal-blocking pouch (called a Faraday wallet, folks) designed to shield electronic keys from relay attacks.

”Also remember that vehicle security should be multi-layered: physical barriers such as ‘crook locks’ and wheel clamps will deter a thief. A tracking device won’t prevent theft but can significantly increase the chances of its return.”

CLICK HERE for more information about Tracker in South Africa

Suggested extra anti-theft measures:

  • A Tracker system ()that figures!) to locate a vehicle, even if in a garage or shipping container
  • Steering-wheel lock
  • Locking wheel-clamps
  • Pedal box to lock clutch and brake pedals
  • Fold / lock driveway bollard
  • Parking your pride and joy in a garage.

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