Anyone with a newer model pick-up truck or SUV is being advised by the OPP that would-be thieves could be targeting them.
Sgt. Robert Simpson with the Central Region OPP says “key fob signal amplification” is used to get into the cars. He explains the technology used by the thieves can circumvent the anti-theft technology in the cars very quickly.
He says that neighbourhoods are scouted by the would-be thieves “days” beforehand to see if any newer model cars are around. Simpson adds they record vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and look for alarm systems. He adds they will return at night to steal the cars, pointing out it mostly happens late at night or early in the morning.
“The stolen vehicles are then sold often in other countries around the world,” says Simpson in a video posted on the OPP’s social media accounts. He adds they often happen quickly. “And sometimes in a span of hours, that stolen vehicle is on a shipping container leaving the country.”
According to Simpson, the best way to stop thefts from happening is by reporting suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, parking cars in a well-lit area or inside, or installing a security camera.
For a vehicle, Simpson suggests leaving keys in a “faraday bag” which isolates the key fob’s signal to prevent the signal from being amplified and copied. He adds to never leave them by the front door or a window. As well, he says to install a steering wheel lock, install a secondary alarm, cover up the VIN number, and keep vehicle ownership, proof of insurance, and other sensitive documentation in a wallet or purse rather than in the car.