Do you own a luxury vehicle like a Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover, or BMW?
If so, then you are in the right place to learn about a security threat that is sweeping the world. Criminal masterminds now rely on high-tech gadgets to assist them in their malicious activities since so much of our modern security is electronic.
Many new luxury vehicles come equipped with keyless entry/start systems, and criminals have adapted to this change. They now have relay technology to bypass the keyless entry/start in many luxury vehicles models. They use devices known as “keyless repeaters” or “range extenders” to implement keyless or relay car theft, as it is technically known.
Let’s discuss this luxury vehicle theft technique in some detail to explain how exactly it is implemented and what luxury vehicles are commonly targeted.
But before we start, always remember to contact All-In Locksmith at (954) 997-8372 for all your luxury vehicle locksmith needs or professional car lockout solutions in Hollywood, Florida.
That being said, let’s learn more about relay attacks and keyless car thefts.
Luxury Car Owners Beware
Criminals have begun using relay technology to catch signals from luxury car key fobs inside homes. They transfer this signal to a portable device and use it to unlock the target luxury vehicle. All of this is done in a matter of minutes, and the masterminds quietly leave with your car.
No guns, no hustle, no direct threats, simply a handful of tech and criminal groups can wipe out your entire garage.
So how do they do it?
How Relay Car Theft Works
The theft works using what is known as a “relay attack” in the tech world. It is implemented by the criminals in 4 simple steps, using two people with one portable device each.
- Step 1
The first criminal gets close to the luxury vehicle and uses their device to relay signals to the second device with the second criminal.
- Step 2
The second criminal gets as close to the original key as possible, which is typically near your home’s front or garage entry because that’s where most people drop their keys fobs before entering their home.
- Step 3
The second criminal can then use the second device to transmit the relayed signal to the key, up to 10-15 meters into the home.
- Step 4
The criminals use the relay signal to fool the car’s security system into thinking the owner is near the luxury vehicle. The key fob responds in a natural manner and lets the criminals into your luxury vehicle. The criminals then use a second relay signal to start the luxury vehicle and drive off immediately.
It’s that simple. If you don’t believe us, there are plenty of security-footage videos online that show some criminals executing this technique in under a minute.
The worst part is that both hardened criminals and normal people can easily buy these devices online for as little as $100. This means that anyone can become an outlaw overnight by starting a luxury vehicle theft business.
Commonly Targeted Luxury Vehicles
Not all luxury vehicles and security systems are susceptible to relay attacks. Criminals are smart about their activities, and they generally target cars they know will respond to their relay attacks. Here is a list of commonly targeted luxury vehicles.
- Mercedes-Benz: C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, C-Class AMG
- Range Rover: Evoque, Vogue, Sport, Autobiography
- BMW: 3 Series, M3, X5, X6, 6 Series
These are just some of the most common luxury vehicles, and criminals target many others like these, especially recent models that use keyless entry/start technologies.
Losing a beloved luxury vehicle to keyless or relay car theft can be very disheartening. However, there are some security measures you can take, which we will discuss another time. For now, being vigilant and placing your key fobs out of reach (15+ meters from entry points) is the best way to protect your luxury vehicles.
If you live in or around Hollywood, FL, professionals like All-In Locksmith can better guide you regarding luxury vehicle key systems and how to protect them. They are also the best people to call when you need emergency locksmith services in lockout situations at home or for your luxury vehicles.
If you want to learn more about luxury vehicle security or require the services of a professional luxury vehicle locksmith, Hollywood, FL’s All-In Locksmith is the one to go to. Visit our website today or call (954) 997-8372.