Posted 13th September 2021
Whilst reported crime and anti-social behaviour remain at one of the lowest levels in the city, Northumbria Police advise residents, people who work in the neighbourhood and run businesses to be aware of "Relay Car Thefts".
Relay Car Thefts happen where criminals gain entry to cars via the owners’ key fobs. Keyless systems use a simple process. Fobs emit a short-range “friendly” radio signal that carries only a few yards. When the associated vehicle is close by (usually within a few metres), the car recognises the signal unlocks its doors. The same process is used for the ignition on cars with start buttons; the fob signal usually needs to be inside the car itself.
Relay thieves use wireless transmitters held up to the front door or window of a house (or the handbag/pocket of a car owner), to capture the signal from a fob and relay it to a target vehicle. An accomplice standing close to the vehicle captures the signal, fooling the car into unlocking. Once the accomplice is inside the car, the process can be repeated to start the engine. THIS CAN BE EASILY AVOIDED .To prevent relay theft, find a safe place for your keys, out of sight and out of range of the car. You may want to store them in an aluminium tin or signal blocking box. Such boxes can be purchased for as little as £10.
To discuss policing-related concerns please contact PC Victoria Archbold (our neighbourhood officer) in the first instance via email: Victoria.Archbold.firstname.lastname@example.org. For live criminal and anti-social activity please dial 999 or Northumbria Police 101.