Ontario police are once again warning the public about the potential dangers of vehicles with proximity key FOBs. A number of pickup trucks were stolen from driveways in Fergus, Ontario on Sunday morning, all with the span of one hour. All four vehicles were Ram trucks, and none of them had their keys taken.
It’s suspected that the thieves used relay attacks to unlock the vehicle. This wireless but still relatively straightforward technique involves using an antenna to pinch the signal constantly emitted by a key FOB — which itself is often stashed just feet behind a locked front door of a house — amplifying it out to a separate device located near the vehicle, which unlocks the door and allows it to be started and driven away without a key.
#WellingtonOPP investigating theft of 4 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks from #Fergus @CentrWellington occurred between 4-5 a.m. Aug 28. ’22 Dodge Ram 1500 Grey Sport, Silver Big Horn, Silver Sport and a ’21 Black Sport stolen from residences. Contact OPP or @CSGWtips with any info. pic.twitter.com/irjOFCat7D
— OPP West Region (@OPP_WR) August 28, 2022
CTV News Kitchener reports police are encouraging owners with such FOB-activated vehicles to “take extra steps to protect [their] vehicles.” The owners of the four trucks — a 2022 Ram 1500 Grey Sport, Silver Big Horn, Silver Sport, and 2021 Black Sport — likely did not have their key fobs properly stored away from points of entry, such as the front door or garage, and were probably not using a protective pouch that blocks the small devices’ outgoing signal.
Authorities are seeking more information about a “person of interest” seen in the area, described as having a thin build with all black clothes and a reddish hat.