Cars are Doomed if They Can be Hacked Open by Thieves

By Gary Cutlack on at

Stats from London's police force suggest the hot new trend in thievery is the wireless hacking of luxury cars and vans, with 16 robberies of expensive keyless models being reported each day.

According to Scotland Yard, organised gangs are specifically targeting keyless luxury vehicles in the capital, with the number of cars stolen in the city rising by eight per cent to 21,869 in 2014 -- and keyless thefts accounting for some of that increase.

"These people currently view keyless vehicle theft as a low-risk, high-return crime with the most valued motor engines fetching up to £1,000 on the black market and vehicles fetching £10,000," said Detective Chief Superintendent Carl Bussey of the hacking wave, which sees thieves entirely bypass the keyed ignition by directly accessing a car's electronics and driving away, laughing while chucking your shit CDs out of the window, without even having got their hands dirty.

How embarrassing that an £80,000 car with a keyless locking and ignition system is easier to nick than a battered old Peugeot 306 estate with traditional key entry. If anything's going to make a man trade his car in for a £3000 road bike and a full set of lycra, it's the possibility of it being stolen by someone with a device bought from the internet.

Police suggest ruining the sleek lines of your premium leather interior by installing a bright yellow plastic wheel or gear stick lock, but with thieves also sometimes just towing cars away to break up and sell, there's not a lot you can do. Buying a 1.0 litre Ford Ka in lime green is probably the best way to avoid having your car nicked. [Standard]

Image credit: Car crime from Shutterstock