Security experts are warning owners of Toyota, Lexus and other high-end vehicles not to rely on their automobile’s anti-theft system.
This follows a rash of thefts across the Ottawa region since April.
Criminals have made off with more than 100 Toyota/Lexus vehicles – many of them destined for resale in Africa and the Middle East.
The vehicles can be unlocked using a radio signal from the key fob when it’s within a range of a metre or two.
Thieves are using a $200 device that boosts the strength of that signal, allowing them to unlock the vehicle and disarm its security system – even though the fob is inside the house – allowing them to drive away.
The best advice is don’t leave the fob near a door or window. There are also special bags – faraday pouches – you can buy to put them in (they prevent unwanted radio waves from reaching the device). Some people have their fobs in the microwave or a freezer. Others have parked a less desirable vehicle in front of the pricey one.