CCTV Shows High Tech Relay Box Thieves Drive Mercedes Away Without Keys

26 November 2017, 17:44 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:21

A group of car thieves have been filmed stealing a car using a relay box, an advanced piece of technology that reads a car's key through walls.

This is the shocking moment thieves steal a vehicle without its key by using a relay box.

West Midlands Police have released what is believed to be the first footage of a 'relay crime' where criminals can drive off in someone else's car without accessing the owner's keys.

The incident happened in the Elmdon area of Solihull, Birmingham at 9pm on September 25.

The footage shows two men deploying a relay box, a device that can be used to receive signals through walls, doors and windows, but is ineffective through metal.

One man can be seen waving a relay box in front of the property, the box receives a signal from the key inside and transmits it to the second box next to the car.

The car's locking system is then tricked into thinking the car key is unlocking it, allowing access to the vehicle.

The thieves then drive off with the Mercedes, with the whole crime taking place within one minute.

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police 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."

Sgt Tim Evans, from 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."

Anyone with information on the Elmdon theft should call police on 101, quoting crime reference number 20SH/204842W/17.

Watch the theft at the top of this page.