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31 Dec. 2022 Andrew

SUV theft is exploding in Belgium, here's how to protect yourself

SUV thefts use car remote control jammer to steal cars

Police districts have seen a veritable explosion in SUV thefts for months. This concerns the entire Belgian territory. After investigation, the police found that the gangsters used particularly sophisticated techniques. We explain to you how they work and how to guard against them.

About two months ago, Hesbignon police warned the public about an increase in SUV thefts in the Liege region. This isn't the only Belgian region where thieves are rampant. Similar cases have been found, for example, near Mouscron, as well as in France. At the time, the Hesbaye police district "only" said there was a surge, but it is now clear that it is more accurately described as an "explosion of cases", and across Belgian territory.

One technique, two modus operandi

As previously reported by police, the Peugeot 2008 and 3008 were particularly popular with thugs who used "mousejacking" ("mouse theft") techniques that involved remotely reprogramming the car's computer system using a tablet. This time, the police went further. "Our findings and investigations have allowed us to establish that the perpetrators of these acts used a special technique to amplify and reproduce the signals from the key (permanently emitted by it), which are usually left on a piece of furniture, at the entrance hall," said the Hesbignon policeman. Once the thug tricked the car into thinking the ignition key was next to it,

Always using the same technique but following a different modus operandi, thieves can attack cars parked in a parking lot in broad daylight. When the owner got out of the car and wanted to lock the car, someone nearby used a car remote control jammer to block the signal from the remote control to lock the car. She can then access the vehicle and can start it the same way as in the previous example.

The key is prevention

Police advise SUV owners to park in enclosed areas whenever possible, make sure the vehicle is locked by checking the door handles, place an anti-theft bar on the steering wheel if possible, and store the keys in a metal box. Due to the principle of a Faraday cage, it Can stop waves. "Caution, not all metal boxes are guaranteed to stop waves", warns the Basse-Meuse police district.

Finally, it is advisable to opt for a geolocation system, which will let you know exactly where the stolen vehicle is located, making it easier to find it. "Check your insurance contract carefully. Some companies have a harder time paying out without a burglary," police added.

The Hesbaye Police District is making sure to act cautiously "to end this real epidemic".