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Fobbed Off: Car relay theft attacks spreading across Western Canada

Golden, British Columbia – Auto theft is on the rise across Canada, and small towns are no exception. In the past month, the town of Golden witnessed a 60 percent increase in auto theft, according to the RCMP.

While the RCMP has not provided further details in its press release, aside from some tips, this appears to be part of an auto theft crime wave spreading across Canada. In an article first published by The Province, Edmonton, Vancouver, Coquitlam and Burnaby have been hit by a crime ring of thieves employing fob relay attacks to steal vehicles for export to the Middle East and Africa.

While car theft sharply fell since 2007 with government mandates requiring vehicles to come with anti-theft immobilizers, these devices are now being exploited to enter vehicles. Rather than requiring the owner to approach the vehicle with a fob, criminals are now copying these signals from a building to enter and escape with a vehicle.

If the rise of key fob attacks sounds familiar, it should. Collision Repair has reported on these technological entry methods being used in Fergus, Ottawa and Toronto, indicating that these techniques are spreading to other parts of Canada.

Sid Kingma, Équité Association’s director of investigative services for Western Canada, explained to The Province that Canada has become a source for stolen vehicles, with criminals targeting higher-end vehicles for their higher resale on the black market.

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