A Mercedes car was stolen from a home in Farnham, tracked down and recovered by police in London, and the suspected thief arrested all in the space of just over an hour.
Police say the car was stolen using keyless entry at around 3am on June 7, but officers were able to follow the car’s journey to Ealing, 40 miles away in west London.
There, Metropolitan Police officers quickly tracked down and pulled over the Mercedes, and detained the driver, just over an hour later.
Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the car. This can be from inside a pocket or bag. If you have to push a button on your car key to open your car, you don't have keyless entry.
Keyless car theft or 'relay theft' is when a device is used to fool the car into thinking the key is close by. This unlocks the car and starts the ignition.
Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your car key to capture the signal, even if it’s inside your home. This means that even if your car and home are secure, thieves can still unlock, start and steal your car.
How to protect your keyless entry car
- When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car.
- Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag.
- Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second hand car.
- Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.