Keyless Entry Fob could be ‘key’ to vehicle theft

Thieves able to use radio waves obtained through walls and doors

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.

– Toronto Police graphic

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.