In a CCTV footage a shocking incident has been captured where two thieves steal a £50,000 BMW in under a minute by bypassing its security system with a special device.
It’s one of the four recent thefts in North London where criminals have used gadgets available on the dark web to quickly make off with high-end motors.
They fooled the security by transmitting an amplified signal through which they are able to unlock the keyless cars into opening the doors.
The victim, was a businessman and father who wished not to be named, had the car for little over a month before it was snatched.
He told MailOnline: ‘I was in my bedroom sleeping at the time. We had just bought the brand new car at the beginning of September.
The two men were captured on CCTV approaching the front of one victim’s house, with their faces clearly visible
The man wearing black gloves then reaches below the driver’s side door and immediately manages to get inside the car
The second man begins waving what is thought to be a black-coloured signal amplifier around the front of the victim’s house
‘Then I heard the engine. I knew someone had started my car and I went to the window.
‘I dashed down straight away and it was gone.’
The two thieves come and gone within a minute — and they had taken the devastated man’s car with them.
The victim said one of his neighbours also fell victim when thieves made off with his BMW – a similar model to his own.
The neighbour said: ‘I was gutted. It’s very hard to get a car like that in my line of work. For me, it was a dream.’
Totally, four similar thefts are understood to have taken place in the Southgate and North London area.
The man continues waving the device around the front of the victim’s house as his partner in crime waits inside the BMW
He added: ‘I work hark hard, I have got a family and I want the nicer things in life and then you get these a*******s taking your property.’
According to the experts the suspects are likely to have exploited weaknesses in the vehicle’s keyless security system.
The feature allows the car to be opened without pushing a button and the engine started simply by pressing a button.
These gadgets can be freely purchased online, the thieves amplify signals between new-generation keyfobs.
The technique tricks the vehicle into thinking its owner is nearby and then the doors unlock.
In less than a minute, the thieves managed to get inside the man’s car and drive away with the £50k motor — all without being in possession of the key fob
Steve Launchbury, head of research at vehicle security experts Thathcam Research, said more instances of ‘relay attacks’ were surfacing as technology became more developed.
Devices to increase keyfob signals were sourced on the dark web and were selling for thousands of pounds.
But Mr Launchbury said Thatchem was able to build the devices for less.
Detective Sergeant Pete Ellis told the Evening Standard: ‘This technology used to be confined to more high-end vehicles but it is becoming more widespread and therefore there is a potential for “relay attacks” to become more common.’
German Automotive Club experts, last year, tested 24 different cars of models made between 2013 and 2015 from 19 manufacturers including BMW, VW, Toyota and Ford.
They said they were able to open every car within seconds using a device that could be built out of every-day electronic items.
According to one of the group’s technicians, thieves are able to extend the transmission-range of the key from two to three metres to ‘a few hundred metres’.
In May, The Mail on Sunday revealed that gadget that allows thieves to break into cars with electronic locks in minutes was being openly sold on Amazon and eBay.
Priced at £257, the device lets criminals intercept the radio signal from the key as a car owner unlocks the vehicle. It is downloaded to a laptop and the thieves then transmit the stolen signal to break in when the owner leaves it unattended.
Called ‘HackRF One’, the radio device works from up to 30ft away, allowing the crook to remain hidden. YouTube videos demonstrating how to use the gadget to break into a car have been watched tens of thousands of times online.
After watching the videos, The Mail on Sunday was able to use the HackRF One to break into a top-of-the-range £105,000 Range Rover Vogue SE in two minutes – with the permission of the vehicle’s owner.