Keyless thefts make up 94% of stolen vehicles

Stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert Tracker has reported that 94% of the vehicles it recovered in the first half of 2022 were stolen without the thief having possession of the keys.

Its warning comes as concerns over the ready availability of key hacking technology, now commonly used by criminal gangs to steal cars, have prompted government ministers and police to consider introducing legislation to close online sales loopholes.

Online firms are legally selling electronic equipment which is being used illegally by criminals to hack keyless car systems, jammers which disable GPS trackers and ‘skeleton’ keys.

Steve Whittaker, police liaison manager at Tracker, said: “The technology employed by criminals is not new and is routinely used by legitimate businesses like garages, car dealers and locksmiths. Unfortunately, when it gets into the wrong hands it can be used by criminal gangs to override car security and give them access to a vehicle. It’s one of the main reasons why we are seeing more and more vehicles being stolen without thieves having a manufacturer provided key fob in their possession. New laws to close online sales loopholes should reverse that trend and we applaud the police and sellers of the technology who are working collaboratively to drive change.”