Tips for Preventing Motor Vehicle Theft

As many of you already know, there has been an increase in motor vehicle thefts across the country. Unfortunately, these thefts may affect us, our friends and family members. Using sophisticated technology, offenders can steal vehicles quickly. So, we’re sharing ways to help protect your vehicle anywhere it’s parked — at home, at work or elsewhere in the community.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis’ Director of Safety and Security Services James P. Smith shared some information to help prevent keyless car theft. He explained that anyone who has a car with a wireless key fob or push button start is vulnerable to “relay theft,” which occurs when devices are used to trick the vehicle into believing its own remote key fob is nearby. When this method is employed, the thief can open the car door and start the car.

James shares additional tips below.

Ways to Help Prevent Keyless Car Theft

  • Use a steering wheel lock. These locks cannot be compromised by technology.
  • Use a signal-blocking pouch or a metal container for storing keys. This can block the transmission of the signal from your car key fob.
  • Keep your car keys at least 30 feet away from your car to disrupt communication. Avoid leaving keys near your door or window.
  • Consider using an on-board diagnostic (OBD) port protective cover or lock guard. Thieves sometimes access your OBD port to clone your key and start your car. Using a cover or lock guard can help prevent this.
  • Turn off the signal from your keys when you’re not using them. To find out if this is possible, check your owner’s manual or consult with your car’s manufacturer.
  • Park in a busy, well-lit area. If parking at home, park in your garage or as close as possible to your property.

If you have any questions, please contact the security leader at your entity or local law enforcement.