Community safety

Neighbourhood Watch - December 2018


Thefof and from Motor Vehicles   

Over the last few months there has been an increase in the number of 'theft from' and 'theft of' motor vehicles. Many of these crimes have been reported where there has been no sign of forced entry to the vehicle or the vehicle has been stolen with the lawful owner still in possession of the keys. 

There are two main locking systems for vehicles, these are Key Fob and Key less. Both can leave your vehicle vulnerable to crime if certain precautions are not taken. 

  • Key Fob entry

The system works by sending random combinations of code to the vehicle each time the fob is pressed. As copying the code is therefore useless the thieves have come up with another way to prevent you from locking your vehicle. 

Thieves are jamming the signal from your key fob to your vehicle by using a number of different devices. These devices can be purchased from as little as £2 from the internet and come in many forms such as garage door openers and house light controllers/dimmers. Many of these devices act to block your key fobs when you attempt to lock your vehicle. 

Thieves can block signals in whole areas such as car parks or streets by hiding these devices in bushes with a clothes peg activating the device for long periods of time and without the need for them to be in the vicinity. 

There is a solution. Once you have activated your key fob, YOU MUST ensure the lights have flashed indicating the car has received the signal, and then check the vehicle is locked by lifting a door handle. 

  • Keyless Car entry

The signal for a vehicle with keyless entry cannot be jammed. However, the signal used for vehicles with this form of security system is unchanging and broadcasts continuously between the fob and the vehicle. IT CAN BE COPIED. 

Fobs made by different manufacturers use different ranges and the signal can vary in terms of strength and useable distance. This is the distance between the vehicle and the range in which the vehicle will be unlocked. This can be up to 30 feet from the vehicle. For many people this could be less than the distance between your vehicle and where you leave your keys once inside your home. YOUR VEHICLE MIGHT NOT BE LOCKED. Alternatively, if your fob is transmitting continuously, the distance between where the device is in your home and the pavement, driveway etc. may be enough for a potential thief to copy the signal. Once copied the thief can not only enter your car but also steal it or any property within it.

 The advice from Thatcham is as follows:

If you have a vehicle with a keyless entry system, keep the key in a 'Faraday Cage' where the signal cannot escape (or you can line a Tupperware pot with foil and get the same effect). This is the same advice as given to us in relation to tap credit and debit cards. You can now purchase small metal credit card cases at an affordable price. You can then remove the plastic card holders and keep your key fob in there. Search for an RFID blocking case/wallet. 

Lee Roberts

Neighbourhood Watch Manager

Tel: 020 8649 3213

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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