By: Shazia Nazir, Local Journalism Initiative
North Halton has seen an increase of car thefts using relay and reprogramming technology. Since January, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has attributed to 52 thefts throughout the Milton, and Halton Hills area.
What are Relay Thefts?
Thieves use a “relay device” to find a signal from a fob inside a house, and can amplify it without entry. The cars then use the signal to unlock and steal cars, often from the owners’ driveways.
What is a reprogramming theft?
Thieves will first physically enter a vehicle, and then they gain access to diagnostic port and are able reprogram a blank key fob.
Over 55% of these thefts involve Lexus RX350, Toyota SUV, and Honda CR-V models. These makes and models are consistent with the Top 10 reported stolen vehicles in Canada as reported by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Police aware of this trend and takes preventative steps to ensure their property remains secure from theft.
Although recent arrests have been made, Police advise the public to use to the following techniques to prevent/ mitigate thefts:
- Park your vehicle in a locked and secured garage
- Install an on-board diagnostic blocker
- Install a steering wheel lock device
- Combine the above measures with an aftermarket GPS tracking device
- Place vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag when not in use
- Lock your vehicle at all times
- Equip your vehicle with an alarm
- Install home security cameras that capture the exterior of your residence, including the driveway
- Take steps to conceal the Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.)
HRPS reminds residents to call 911 if they see a crime in progress, suspicious persons or vehicles in their neighbourhood. Submit tips and information to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 1-800-222-8477, or through their website