Waterloo Regional Police are issuing a warning after three vehicles were stolen with the use of relay and reprogramming technology.
Sometime overnight between Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 suspects attended three separate addresses in the Hespeler area of Cambridge and stole parked vehicles.
These vehicles were all Dodge Ram pick-ups stolen from driveways in the area of Erindale Crescent and Gunn Avenue, Abbott Crescent and Michigan Avenue, and Dawn Crescent and Poplar Drive.
The vehicles were all newer model, high-end vehicles with keyless entry and push start technology.
How does relay vehicle theft work?
The suspect will approach a residence and use technology to find a key fob signal from inside a residence. The technology allows the suspects to remain outside the residence to amplify and transfer the key fob signal in order to unlock, start and steal the vehicle. The theft of the vehicle typically goes undetected until the morning when the owner discovers the vehicle has been stolen and they are still in possession of the key fob.
How does reprogramming vehicle theft work?
The suspects will approach the vehicle and force entry inside. Once inside the vehicle, an electronic device is used to access the vehicle's diagnostics. The suspects then reprogram a blank key fob so the vehicle can be started.
How to protect your vehicle from a Relay or Reprogramming Theft?
Make your vehicle more secure with the following prevention tips:
Park your vehicle inside a locked and secure garage.
Block the access to the onboard diagnostic port to prevent thieves from reprogramming the vehicle’s key fob. (A simple device can be purchased online).
Use a steering wheel locking device to deter theft.
When not in use, place the vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag/pouch to block cell signals.
Consider equipping your vehicle with an aftermarket Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker. The tracker may assist police in locating the vehicle and/or suspects.
Ensure all keys are accounted for and never left in the vehicle or unattended.
Lock your vehicle at all times.
Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
Consider purchasing a surveillance system and ensure the quality and function will capture any suspicious activity for a 24-hour period.
If you observe suspicious people in your neighbourhood who are looking into vehicles, we encourage you to call police immediately. This will assist investigators to track patterns of criminal behaviour and potentially identify suspects.
A crime in-progress can be reported by calling 9-1-1. Any non-emergency incidents can be reported online at wrps.on.ca or by calling 519-570-9777.
Anyone with information, or video surveillance footage, is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.