Crooks steal car in under 60 seconds with electronic 'relay device'

They didn’t have to break anything to enter the sedan they were stealing, but a couple of car crooks caught on camera were gone in less than 60 seconds anyway.

West Midlands Police in the United Kingdom have released security footage of two thieves using so-called ‘relay devices’ to rob a Mercedes-Benz S-Class equipped with a proximity key from a driveway.

One of the hooded men can be seen waving a small device along the wall of the home the car is parked outside of, in order to pick up the signal from the keyfob somewhere inside, while the other places his device near the luxury four-door. The signal from the keyfob is then extended between the two devices, allowing the car to be unlocked, started and driven away without any fuss.

It’s a type of crime becoming more common these days, and has proven tough to prevent. Police have even taken to advising the owners of vehicles with this type of lock to resort to using an old fashioned steering wheel lock as a deterrent. You can also take the batteries out of the keyfob when not in use, keep it as far away from the car as possible or store it in a signal-blocking box.