The Community Watch organisation has been made aware of an increase in reports of this nature across Scotland. But what is relay theft?
Relay theft is when each of the thieves carries a ‘relay box’ which is a device that relays the signal from the car key to the car.
One thief gets near enough to the key (in the house) to pick up the signal, relays it to the second box carried by the second thief who’s near enough to the car for the signal to be transmitted to it and trigger the unlocking. The criminals can then drive away in the stolen car.
Perth and Kinross neighbourhood watch association have offered residents some useful steps on how to prevent his type of crime.
- Keep your key device in a ‘Faraday pouch’ (signal blocker) which has a lining that prevents the items inside from receiving or transmitting radio frequency signals. Look for a type which is Secure By Design approved.
- Check vehicle doors are locked before walking away
- Listen for the central lock engaging and watch for indicators flashing when locking the car
- Do not store keys near windows or doors
- If you buy a second-hand keyless car, get the key reprogrammed
- Make sure the key and any spares are stored securely and safely
- Use a steering wheel lock
Police Scotland have also offered some on how to protect your car which includes where you should park and what to do after you have parked safely. https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/road-safety/protecting-your-car/