Montrealer is warning luxury car owners about thieves who now have the nerve to hack their smart keys in broad daylight, all thanks to gadgets bought online for a pittance.
“I definitely worried when I saw the pictures. We’re talking about someone coming to your house, in your privacy. […] They are not ashamed to do so! “We can see that the guy is very comfortable on the pictures, too,” Justin Addison says.
This resident of the Tétreaultville neighborhood of Montreal got a surprise visit from a burglar on a Tuesday morning. Videos were captured from his apartment building by the thief preparing to steal his Audi branded car using a signal sensor. The sequence, which was broadcast on social networks, caused a lot of ink to flow.
in a few seconds
“At first I wasn’t sure what he was doing. It looked like he was walking around with a walkie-talkie. But people started writing to me on Facebook. That’s when I realized he wanted to clone my smart key from my car,” Addison said.
In this sequence, which lasts barely 10 seconds, a man approaches the Montrealer entrance and waves a simple sensor in the air.
“It picks up the code from the smart key located in the house. Then they pass the code onto a blank key at their disposal. After that, the thief can come back in the evening to steal the car. It’s easy and simple,” explains Freddy Marcantonio, Vice President of Repérage Tag.
Not a priority
Justin Addison says he’s still on the alert waiting for the thieves to return. “We have to change the key code at our Audi dealership, it still costs over $100,” he sighs.
In the meantime, he has filed a request with the Montreal City Police Department (SPVM).
“The neighborhood police told us that they had no specialists and that they could not help us. We asked for help from someone, whoever it was, at SPVM. We were told that our file was not a priority,” Mr. Addison laments.
When contacted on this topic, SPVM asserts that it “takes car thefts very seriously” and “does not comment on ongoing investigations so as not to interfere with their progress”.
Barely 80 dollars
For Specialist Freddy Marcantonio, the most worrying thing about this case is that the tools purchased to steal luxury cars cost almost nothing.
“In Quebec, car thieves are professionals. Gone are the days of the hammer and screwdriver for car theft. […] It used to be that a sensor or speaker to steal a smart key cost thousands of dollars. Now, it’s almost $80 online,” notes Mr. Marcantonio.
The register I found the signal sensor used by the thief at Justin Addison’s home in Tétreaultville. The tool was on sale without a prescription for $140 on a very popular Chinese site.
How do you protect your car?
- Purchase a box that blocks the signal emitted by the switch
- Install anti-theft tape on the steering wheel
- Equip your car with an immobilizer
- Slide windows as well as major parts of your vehicle.
- Install a tracking system on your vehicle to find it in case of theft.
Source: Montreal City Police Department
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