Thieves have been caught on camera stealing a £90,000 Tesla in under 30 seconds by using a keyless hack.
The footage of the rapid and brazen robbery was captured in the early hours of August 21 with a Ring doorbell camera at the property in London.
In the short clip, one of the robbers can be seen walking up to the property through the open garden gate.
Robbers were caught on camera stealing a £90,000 Tesla in under 30 seconds by using a keyless hack. The footage was taken using a Ring doorbell camera at the property in London
The hooded figure is carrying what appears to be an electrical pack around his neck. He holds a wire in his hands, raises them above his head and takes a final step towards the house
He then calmly folds the wires up and returns down the path before turning right out of the drive. The robber in the vehicle continues down the road and out of view of the camera
The hooded figure is carrying what appears to be an electrical pack around his neck.
He holds a wire in his hands, raises them above his head and takes a final step towards the house.
As he does so, the Tesla’s headlights flash as a sign that it is now unlocked.
A second figure in the background can be seen opening the driver’s door and getting into the £90,000 vehicle.
The robber holding the wire remains stationary for a few seconds before he sees that his accomplice has begun to reverse the Tesla off of the drive.
He then calmly folds the wires up and returns down the path before turning right out of the drive.
The robber in the vehicle continues down the road and out of view of the camera.
High-tech car thieves working together can steal your keyless car within a few seconds
Vehicle thefts over the last five years have jumped 50 per cent, with keyless cars being targeted by tech-savvy criminals who can gain access in as little as 20 seconds
Hrishi, the homeowner said: ‘It was absolutely shocking how quickly it went.’
He says the car was being loaned to his brother who had his own Tesla in the shop at the time.
Vehicles that have a keyless system use a very simple process.
The fobs emit a short-range ‘friendly’ radio signal that carries only a few yards.
How to protect your vehicle: Everyday items like a drinks can or your fridge can stop the criminals in their tracks
Every make and model of car which can start ‘keylessly’ is susceptible to a relay attack.
While this might put drivers on edge, there are easy steps you can take to stop you becoming the next victim of a relay theft.
Certain metals are capable of blocking key signals, which means if you store your fob with one of these metals around it, criminals won’t be able to pick them up and steal your vehicle.
The most simple and most ingenious is a metal can.
The aluminum in a drinks can will stop radio signals being transmitted from your key and stop burglars in their tracks.
Some experts have suggested keeping your keys in the fridge, as the material on the inside will block signals too.
If you’re looking for a low-cost option, some people wrap their fobs in tin foil – although this isn’t endorsed by security firms.
Keeping your keys in a small metal box however can work efficiently.
Special faraday pouches — cheap wallets which shield the key’s radio signal from being transmitted — are also useful for storing your keys when you’re away from home – in motorway service stations and public car parks.
Experts also encourage drivers to keep them at least 5m away from their front door, to give thieves the worst chance of being able to relay a signal.
But some security specialists advise against hiding your car keys too obscurely in your house — because if serious criminals truly want to steal your car, they will break in and do anything to find the keys.
Old-fashioned methods like parking in a well-lit area, using a steering wheel lock and installing a proper tracking device to your vehicle are still highly recommended to keep your car safe.
When the associated vehicle is close by (usually within a few metres), the car recognises the signal and unlocks the doors.
Thieves can intercept this by using an electrical relay system, key jamming techniques and other hacks to gain immediate access to such keyless vehicles.
The swift and silent technique is so successful that it’s one of the major factors behind car thefts in England a Wales hitting a six-year high last year.
Official figures showed the number of cars reported stolen to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in 2017 rose to 43,308 — up almost 9,000 since 2016.
Yet crime surveys from the Office for National Statistics suggest the true figure is even higher, with 89,000 vehicles stolen in England and Wales last year. In certain areas, such as the West Midlands, car theft has soared by 80 per cent.
Insurers paid out around £108 million – or £1.2 million a day – in claims in the first three months of the year, according to the Association of British Insurers.
This was up 22 per cent on the same period in 2018 and comes as campaigners and politicians call on car companies to improve security, especially for keyless cars.
So-called ‘relay’ theft occurs when two thieves work together to break into keyless cars. They use equipment to capture electromagnetic signals emitted by keyfobs.
One thief stands by the car with a transmitter, while the other stands by the house with another, which picks up the signal from the electronic key, usually kept near the front door on a table or hook.
This is then relayed to the transmitter by the vehicle, causing it to think the key is in close proximity and prompting it to open. Thieves can then drive the vehicle away thanks to the keyless ignition and quickly replace locks and entry devices.
Any vehicle with keyless entry could be vulnerable to relay theft. These include cars from BMW, Ford, Audi, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Mercedes.
The same method could conceivably be used in a car park. And the distance between the device and key could be up to nine metres.
It is not illegal to sell or own a relay box device and the only way police can arrest someone is under the ‘going equipped to steal’ law — meaning they would have to catch the thief red-handed with it, or prove an intent to use it for theft.
The same law applies to other gadgets supposedly designed to help owners who have lost their keys, such as key programmer devices, which tell the car to trust a new key and forget the code for the original one.
But police sources, security experts and locksmiths specialising in vehicles have all said there is ‘no legitimate reason’ to be in possession of a relay device.
If a driver was to lose their key, a relay box wouldn’t help them get back into their car, as the devices only work when the key is nearby.
Car manufacturers and service centres would instead use special keys called ‘one time use’ keys that let them key in a new code for the driver.
An auto-locksmith already has tools to pick the lock of the car and gain access to it. They would then need to work with the owner and manufacturer to code a new key.