Residents alarmed by ‘high-tech thieves’ using key fobs to break into cars

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Some Chesterfield residents believe high tech thieves are breaking into their cars with a device you can’t see.

If you have a key fob for your car, that may be leading to the break-ins. Thieves are activating driver’s key fob signal to get inside someone’s vehicle from outside their home. The scary part? You may never realize it even happened.

Residents grew concerned after police released surveillance of a man creeping around the Grove Community. In the video, the man’s head is covered with a scarf and sneaks out of camera view. The ring camera captured images of the man, however, the same night several cars were broken into.

“It’s a weird feeling when you think about someone creeping around your neighborhood,” said Kevin McGrath, a resident of Grove Community. “It’s erry.”

McGrath is one of 12 victims who had items stolen from their vehicles.

What’s bizarre about this crime is no windows were smashed, but someone got inside.

“I was surprised,” McGrath said. “It was definitely shocking in a neighborhood that you’re used to feeling safe in. It’s a bit of a concern for sure.”

Some of the car doors were unlocked, others weren’t, according to police. There were no signs of forced entry.

“I’ll be more proactive about being more secure,” McGrath said.

Police used this incident to offer some ways to make your key fob more secure:

  • Wrap your key fob in aluminum foil
  • Place your key fob in a signal-blocking pouch, such as a microwave.

Key fobs should be stashed in a safe spot to keep thieves from being able to send a signal and open your car door without a key, police add.

“People seem to get creative,” McGrath said, “with ways to navigate the laws.”

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