High Tech Thieves Targeting Keyless Entry Vehicles in Toronto

Joshua Freeman, Web Content Writer, CP24 @Josh_F Published Tuesday, July 14

Toronto police are warning car owners in Scarborough to beware of high-tech thieves who have been using sophisticated equipment to steal cars that make use of keyless entry.  According to police, newer vehicles equipped with keyless fobs are being targeted and stolen from driveways in the area of 42 Division overnight.  Surveillance video released by Toronto police shows an example of one such incident.

In the video, one of the thieves stands near the front door of the house and pulls out a device that captures the signal being emitted from the keyless fob, which is somewhere near the entrance inside the house.

The device, a radio frequency amplifier, captures the fob’s signal from inside the house and extends it so that it can reach the car.  The boosted signal then unlocks the car and also starts the vehicle’s engine.  The thieves then simply drive away with the vehicle.

Police are asking anyone with information about the thefts to contact investigators.  Police also issued a number of tips that can help owners keep vehicles with keyless entry safe. They include:  Do not leave keyless FOBs near the front door of your home overnight; rather leave the keys as far away from the front door as possible.  Park in a garage, if possible.  Consider leaving keys in a container that will block the keyless FOBs signal, such as a Faraday bag.  Consider purchasing a secondary vehicle alarm system.  Consider adding a tracking device to your vehicle.  Consider any deterrent that will prevent thieves from targeting your vehicle, such as a steering wheel club.