|GONE IN 40 SECONDS: Footage shows that the men were able to use|
the relay device to drive off in the car in under a minute.
SOLIHULL Police are appealing for help after a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a "relay" device to steal a Mercedes from a Marston Green home.
CCTV footage shows two men walking up outside the victim’s house, carrying equipment which allows them to trick a vehicle into thinking the key is present.
The kit - which has become a favourite toy among the criminal fraternity - is capable of receiving signals through walls, doors and windows, but not metal.
In the footage, one of the men can be seen brandishing a relay box in front of the property in Maple Leaf Drive.
The box receives a signal from the electronic fob inside and transmits it to a second device, held next to the car. The vehicle's security systems are thus tricked into thinking that the key is present and the doors unlock, allowing the thieves to drive off in less than a minute.
The Mercedes has not been recovered since it was stolen from the address on February 21, at around 5.30am.
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.
"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."
Anyone with information on last month's theft should call police on 101, quoting crime reference number 20SH/41660G/18.