Technology is enabling Eastern European gangs to steal new vehicles within moments.
Technology is enabling Eastern European gangs to steal new vehicles within moments. The Mirror, in fact, has reported that: BMWs, Audi Q7s, Range Rovers, Ford Transits, Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, and Ford Fiestas have been targeted because of their electronic keys or key-less entry systems. The scam is simple. The criminal buys a 'device'. He then waits in, say, a residential road for someone to park a suitable car. The owner of this vehicle then leaves after locking it via its wireless key fob. Or so he thinks. In fact, the crook's device has blocked the fob's signal so the car is unlocked. The criminal then enters and programs a blank key via the diagnostic socket. These have a legitimate use for replacing lost or damaged keys, etc. The criminal then simply drives away. Alternatively, a crook enters a car, installs a tracker, downloads key data from the diagnostic socket, then returns later with a cloned key. This is not as challenging as its sounds. The most prestigious cars are often moved to Russia, others are sold in parts, and vans find work in Poland/Lithuania.Fortunately, motorists can take steps to minimise the risk. The objective is to make your vehicle harder to steal than the one parked adjacent. This encourages criminals to look elsewhere. So, first and foremost, check that your car is locked by pulling its handles. This sidesteps the crook's key fob blocker leaving him with no choice but to either leave or break-in. The latter is hard work, noisy, and time consuming. Secondly, fit a steering wheel lock or a similar immobilisation device. That brings us to parking. At home, leave it in a garage or block its escape route with something less valuable. An older car, perhaps. Also, while out and about try to park in well lit areas monitored by CCTV. Then cross your fingers.