Masked thieves use ‘relay hacking’ to steal €200,000 car in brazen robbery in Co Galway

CCTV footage seen by Sunday World of the brazen theft appears to confirm the method used by predatory thieves to target and steal high-end vehicles.

A brand new Range Rover has been stolen outside the showrooms of Adrian Quinn Car Sales in Lahane, south County Galway.

Footage released in the early hours of Wednesday morning shows a car with its headlights slowing outside the showroom.

The car stops and four men, all hooded, get out of their car and position themselves near the main entrance and also near the targeted car.

They easily open the door of the blue Range Rover, with one man walking away while the other three jump into their own cars.

“This is the first time this has happened in our garage,” Sean Quinn of Adrian Quinn Car Sales told The Sunday World.

“We don’t know exactly how many people were involved. I’m not 100% sure.

“There were no license plates on the vehicle they took. I think they removed the plates from another vehicle that was parked there and changed them to not arouse suspicion of driving probably on the road.

“It’s a (reg) 221. It was selling around the 200 mark.”

Sean does not want us to post the CCTV footage.

“If we got the car back, it would stigmatize it. This is not a car you would sell every day in Ireland. From a point of sale, it would be too easy to spot,” he points out.

The local Garda station in Gort takes care of the flight.

The numbered plates that were inserted on the stolen blue Range Rover read ‘181-D-16435’.

Thieves use relay technology to receive the signal from a key inside a home and transfer it to a portable device, allowing them to unlock and drive the car in minutes.

Many new cars now have keyless entry systems, or can have them added as an upgrade. This allows the driver to open and start the vehicle without using a button or turning a key as long as the key fob is nearby.

Thieves exploit this by using sophisticated technology to hack into your vehicle’s computer, meaning they don’t even need a key fob to start the vehicle and can drive it away in minutes.

Indeed, 96% of motorists are at risk of having their vehicle stolen by criminals using the latest theft technique, according to figures from the security company Tracker.

The main people at risk are cars that use keyless fob, as well as “connected cars”. In other words, those who use the internet to access maps, travel information and music – basically anything with an internet-enabled infotainment system.

A relay attack usually involves two people working together. One is standing next to the targeted vehicle, while the other is standing near the scene with a device that can pick up a signal from the key fob. In addition, some devices can pick up a signal over 100 meters away.

The device then relays the signal from the key fob directly to the car, allowing thieves to enter and leave immediately.

These devices can be purchased for as little as E100 online.

Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at UK security firm Tracker, said: “As relay attacks become more prevalent, owners need to protect themselves, especially as criminal gangs use regularly relay devices to exploit weaknesses in keyless security systems in a wide range. manufacturers.

“These tools are readily available on the internet for just £80 and the thefts usually happen in residential areas, where cars are parked relatively close to the house, especially at night.

“It should be remembered that technology is only one part of vehicle safety and that more vigilance is needed at all levels; this includes car owners, manufacturers, dealers, insurers and the police.

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