KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is warning you to be weary of a new way thieves are trying to steal your stuff.
His parked truck was broken into — even though it was locked.
“Just got a brand new vehicle. My first one since my 2005 Corolla,” said Brad Walsh, of Waldo.
His new Ford pickup truck is barely two weeks old and gets parked in his driveway every night.
“We’ve certainly left our doors unlocked by accident and come out to find our glove box opened and some things like that. But certainly I have been extra careful to lock my brand new vehicle,” Walsh said.
So he was pretty surprised when a neighbor let him know some suspicious people had been lurking in driveways on their street.
“He gave me the rundown, and that’s when I went and reviewed my security camera footage,” he said.
That footage indeed proved Walsh did lock his car before going inside. But in the middle of the night, around 3 a.m., his camera also picked up a youngster running to the truck and jiggling the door handle.
“The headlights and tail lights started blinking, which indicates car’s been unlocked,” Walsh said.
He believes the suspects used what’s called a relay or signal amplifier device, which are easy to find online.
“They were able to trick my vehicle into thinking the key fob was closer to it than it actually was,” he said.
And within seconds, another person is seen creeping around to the driver’s side and gets in to dig around. A total of four people were caught on camera but ultimately got away empty handed.
“There wasn’t anything to steal at all other than cargo straps,” Walsh said.
He’d heard about key fob hacking before, but never thought it would happen to him.
He immediately started searching for something he could use to stop a similar incident from ever happening again.
“I found these devices called Faraday pouches, which are kind of metallic fabric lined pouch that you can drop into any device in that transmits a signal, and it completely blocks it off from receiving or transmitting signals,” he said.
Walsh now slips his key fob in a pouch every night.
He hopes what happened to him is now a warning to others.
Since nothing was stolen in this case, police didn’t take a report. But Walsh is now encouraging his friends and neighbors to invest in those metallic pouches, which can cost as little as $10, and maybe even go a step further with home security cameras, to help stop potential thieves in their tracks.