Auto thefts in­crease as thieves use new tech­nol­ogy to clone key fobs from a dis­tance

North Toronto Post - - News -

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

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