26/11/2017 14:21 GMT | Updated 26/11/2017 14:23 GMT

'Relay Crime' Where Thieves Steal Car Without Keys Released On CCTV Footage

Vehicle's systems tricked in just one minute.

West Midlands Police
West Midlands Police have released footage of thieves using relay boxes to steal car without key

CCTV footage has been released of one of the first “relay crimes” to be caught on camera - where thieves can steal a car without needing keys.

Two men are seen on the footage carrying relay boxes to the male victim’s house at 9pm on September 24, West Midlands Police said.

The incredible footage shows the thieves using the devices to steal a Mercedes parked on a driveway in the Elmdon area of Solihull, West Midlands.

The boxes are designed to receive a signal from the car key inside the property - which can be picked up through walls, doors and windows - and then transfer the signal to a second box next to the car.

Taking just one minute, the vehicle’s systems are then tricked into thinking that the key is present, subsequently unlocking it.

One of the men can then be seen driving off in the car, which has still not been recovered.

Mark Silvester, from the crime reduction team, said: “To protect against this type of theft, owners can use an additional tested and Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.

“We also recommend Thatcham-approved tracking solutions fitted to the vehicle.

“It is always worth speaking to your main dealer, to ensure that your car has had all the latest software updates and talk through security concerns with them.”

Sergeant Tim Evans, of Solihull Police, said: “It’s important the public are reassured that we are taking proactive steps to tackle this type of crime in Solihull.

“We hope that knowledge of this type of crime will enable members of the public to take simple steps to secure their vehicle and assist us.”