Drivers who keep car keys by front door in house 'warned'

Car thieves can use a "15-minute window" to steal your motor with terrifying new technology. Car thieves and criminals are able to open your vehicle, hop in and drive off as if they had a key before anyone has a chance to stop them.

Security experts have warned of a 15-minute window thieves can use to steal your car. Criminals are managing to use keyless methods like relay devices to intercept the signal from your fob and duplicate it.

The method from the thieves then fools the car into thinking the key is being used. Steve Launchbury, principal security engineer for Thatcham Research, urged drivers to still take extra steps to stay safe as the spate of thefts continues, with the West Midlands a particular hotspot.

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He told WhatCar?: "Sleeping keyfobs do offer a deterrent to relay theft to a degree, but because many of them don’t deactivate for up to 15 minutes, they leave open an opportunity for thieves to grab key codes if someone is walking around with the key in a pocket or bag.

"Many car makers won’t shorten the time the keys stay active because it could inconvenience owners, so more sophisticated software is needed to make the systems smarter." Mark Trimbee, CEO of Reg Transfers, told The Express: "It should become a habitual behaviour to lock up your car, even if you're just refuelling or parking briefly in your driveway.

"You should never leave your vehicle running if you’re leaving the driver’s seat, and keep an eye out to make sure all windows and sunroofs are fully closed. When it comes to your keys, keep them out of sight and away from entry points to prevent theft through methods like key fishing.

"For keyless entry cars, it’s wise to reprogram keys when buying a second-hand car. Using signal-blocking pouches can prevent relay attacks, and investing in a steering wheel lock adds an extra layer of security - for both keyed and keyless cars."