WEST MIDLANDS, England - Surveillance video captured two thieves using high-end technology to steal a luxury car featuring a keyless entry system.
The video, released by West Midlands Police in England, shows two suspects walking up to the Mercedes-Benz with “relay boxes.”
One man stands near the Mercedes-Benz and places a box on the vehicle while the other man walks near the home with a second box.
The vehicle’s lights flash as the car unlocks and one suspect gets in the driver’s seat. The second suspect standing near the home begins to walk away, but has to return closer to the home so that the second suspect can start the vehicle.
It took less than a minute from the time the suspects got out of their vehicle until they were driving off with the Mercedes-Benz.
Investigators said the relay boxes use the boosted signal to trick the vehicle’s system into thinking the key fob is present. The devices can receive and transmit signals through walls, doors and windows, but they won’t work through metal.
To avoid becoming a victim of the high-tech theft, experts recommend putting keyless fobs in a location where the signal can’t transmit, such as a freezer, microwave or a Faraday cage/bag. You can also wrap your keyless fob in aluminum foil.
Authorities also recommend investing in a steering-wheel lock to help deter thieves from targeting your vehicle.