Relay car theft is a type of vehicle theft where criminals steal cars that have keyless entry/start systems. The criminals use two devices: one to receive the signal from the key fob inside the house, and another to relay it to the car outside. This tricks the car into thinking the key fob is nearby, and allows the thieves to unlock and start the car without breaking in.

Relay car theft is also known as keyless theft or relay attack. It works on cars that have keyless entry systems, which allow the driver to open and start the car without using a button or turning a key so long as the fob is nearby. Thieves are exploiting this technology by using sophisticated devices that can hack into the car’s computer and mimic the key fob’s signal. Some of these devices can pick up a signal from over 100 meters away.

Relay car theft is a growing problem in many countries, especially in the UK, where it accounts for most of the increase in car thefts in recent years. According to figures from security company Tracker, 96% of motorists are at risk of having their car stolen by criminals using this technique. The most at-risk cars are those that use keyless fobs, as well as ‘connected cars’ that use internet to access maps, travel info, and music.

There are several ways to prevent relay car theft, or at least reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Here are some of the most common and effective methods: