Mercedes Stolen In Less Than 60 Seconds. High-Tech Theft Caught On CCTV

Mercedes car stolen without using a key in seconds in 'relay theft'

Mercedes car stolen without using a key in seconds in 'relay theft'

Security cameras in Solihull, England, show a pair of vehicle thieves using a "relay" device to impersonate the proximity signal from a Mercedes key inside the owner's house.

West Midlands Police is investigating following the incident in the Elmdon area of Solihull at around 9pm on September 25.

Mercedes car stolen without using a key in seconds in 'relay theft'

West Midlands Police believe it is the first time the high-tech crime has been caught on camera. The technique works by holding one box to the wall of a house so it can pick up the signal from the owner's key fob. Proximity systems don't require a key to be physically inserted in an ignition to unlock or start the auto; instead, the auto detects the presence of a key nearby, and unlocks the vehicle.

In the footage, one of the men can be seen waving a box in front of the victim's house.

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The theft took place in less than 60 seconds.

Some vehicles with keyless systems, including those sold by Mercedes, have a feature where a double-press of the key fob disables the keyless system, stopping the key from transmitting the signal captured by the relay box. Storing the fob in a metal box such as a safe, or using a Faraday sleeve, should block the signal from being detected by the relay box. Without a hitch, the thieves are able to unlock the Mercedes and drive off in it.

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Sergeant Tim Evans of Solihull Police said: "It's important the public are reassured that we are taking proactive steps to tackle this type of crime.We hope that knowledge of this type of crime will enable members of the public to take simple steps to secure their vehicle and assist us".

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team, said auto owners can protect against this type of theft by using a Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.

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