LONG ARM OF THE LAW: Sadly, not all car-jamming thieves can be brought to justice and as long as the technology remain relatively easy to obtain online, many car owners are at risk . Image: Supplied
LONDON, England - BBC Watchdog (October 30 2014) put the spotlight on the shocking risk of keyless car theft as technology widely available on the internet is used by criminals in the UK to - in minutes - reprogramme keys for luxury cars.
Automakers and the auto industry in general are are working together to address the problem but an immediate layer of protection, recommended by the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the BBC is to invest in a stolen-vehicle recovery (SVR) device.
Leading SVR expert Tracker warns that drivers should only invest in a tracking device that can’t also be beaten by technology - known as jammers. They are easily available on the internet.
JAMMERS BOUGHT ONLINE
Andy Barrs, Tracker's police liaison officer, said: “The cars most commonly stolen and recovered by Tracker were all featured in the Watchdog report but, as news spreads of the ease of which reprogramming devices can be bought online, so does the risk of theft of any car that uses keyless technology.
"It’s not just luxury-car owners who should be on guard.
VIDEO: Car-jamming thief in action in Gauteng
“Having a tracking device won’t prevent your car being stolen but will increase the chances of it being located and recovered by as much as 95%. However, it is crucial that people recognise that not all tracking devices are the same. The most successful are those that don’t rely on GPS alone - these are vulnerable to ‘jamming’ which uses technology designed to block the devices meant to track stolen cars.”
DRIVERS AT RISK
Tracker uses several location systems in one unit and says they are immune to GPS and GSM jammers. Barrs added:
“It is not illegal to import, sell, buy or possess systems such as key re-programmers or jammers, both of which can be used to bypass technology installed in most modern cars. We strongly advise consumers to choose a system that provides the most resilient SVR solution which uses unique VHF technology, offering vehicle owners effective safeguards against theft, even if the GPS does fail as a result of jamming."
Tracker's vehicle recovery "works like an electronic homing device". A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places in the vehicle - the thief won’t know it’s there and it will even work if the car is in a garage, container or underground car park.
Top cars most commonly stolen and recovered by Tracker in the UK:
Mercedes C Class
BMW 3 Series
Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Vogue, Audi S3
Mercedes E Class
BMW 5 Series