Auto thefts increase as thieves use new technology to clone key fobs from a distance
As of mid-October this year, 148 cars had been reported stolen to Toronto Police Service, 53 Division. This is a drastic increase from the 59 cars reported stolen in 2017.
“We can tell you what has driven that spike,” said Const. Timothy Somers. “There’s been changes in technology that have become available for people to mimic or to clone the key fobs of various models of vehicles using laptop technology.”
Basically, a car thief simply needs to get close enough to a home to reach the signal that is being emitted by a person’s key fob and then clone that key fob into their laptop. The laptop then becomes the key fob. They walk up to the vehicle and the signal tells the car that they are the owner, so it opens the doors and the thief is able to drive away.
Steve Kee, a representative from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said he has also seen new types of technology and apps that allow car thieves easy access to vehicles.
“A highly motivated thief with the right tools can steal a vehicle in a matter of seconds, so ensure you’re doing everything in your power to not leave yourself vulnerable,” said Kee.
“Put all key fobs in the microwave at night and it seems to have an impact. Because microwaves are sealed for radiation, it also seals them from transmitting signals.” — Constable Somers