How To Combat Car Thieves' Latest Trick
Electronic engineer Pat O'Leary has responded to shocking footage of a car theft which featured on Independent.ie.
He explained how something as simple as a biscuit tin could save your car being whipped from its spot on the drive outside.
Fitness instructor Jennifer Shannon shared the CCTV footage of her BMW 520 being stolen from the driveway of her home in the Manorfields Estate, Clonee, Dublin 15 in the early hours of the morning last Thursday.
The footage shows two men breaking the window of the white vehicle - registration plate 12D41580 - before using what looks like a transmitter and a deflector to gain access to the keyless vehicle.
Within three minutes the pair have fled in the car.
Now, Wexford-based engineer Pat has advised people to keep their keys or fobs for their vehicles "in something metal" to prevent thieves catching a signal from outside the house.
"In a nutshell, there is a password exchanged between the keys and the computer in the car. That password would be unique to your car and your key combination.
"Your key is out of range," he explained, "so I'm figuring what they're waving about outside the house is a type of receiving arial.
"The signal will be so weak going from the key to the car that it needs a halfway point.
"Anyone with half a knowledge of electronics could create something like that.
"The simple solution is to keep your key in a biscuit tin box, anything metal. The signal is so weak, it won't take a lot to kill it."
Jennifer said she wants to warn others so they don't find themselves in the same situation.
"It's scary that this could happen so fast. I would warn others to be very aware. We thought we were doing everything right by getting an alarm, leaving the key upstairs and putting in CCTV," she said.
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