Monday March 13, 2023 Case # 1840
OFFENCE: Stolen Vehicles DATE: March 8, 2023
LOCATION: Cambridge, ON
WRPS Break, Enter and Vehicle Theft Team Recover Two Stolen Vehicles
Waterloo Regional Police are investigating after two vehicles were stolen with the use of Relay and Reprogramming Technology.
Sometime overnight between March 8, 2023, and March 9, 2023, unknown suspect(s) attended two separate addresses in south Cambridge and stole parked vehicles.
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These vehicles were:
- A Toyota Highlander – stolen from a driveway in the area of McNichol Drive and Haskell Road
- A Toyota Highlander – stolen from a driveway in the area of Carpenter Road and Bloomington Drive
The vehicles were newer, high-end vehicles with keyless entry and push-started technology.
Both vehicles were recovered in the area of Main Street North and Mansfield Drive in St. George on the morning of March 9, 2022, with similar damage to the driver’s door handles and the headliner pulled down at the trunk, exposing wiring harnesses.
This damage is consistent with the reprogramming style of theft in which the thieves force entry into a vehicle and then program a new key.
How does relay vehicle theft work?
The suspect will approach a residence and use technology to find a key fob signal from inside the residence. The technology allows the suspects to remain outside the residence to amplify and transfer the key fob signal in order to unlock, start and steal the vehicle.
The theft of the vehicle typically goes undetected until the morning when the owner discovers the vehicle has been stolen and they are still in possession of the key fob.
How does reprogramming vehicle theft work?
The suspects will approach the vehicle and force entry inside. Once inside the vehicle, an electronic device is used to access the vehicle’s diagnostics. The suspects then reprogram a blank key fob so the vehicle can be started.
How to protect your vehicle from a Relay or Reprogramming Theft?
Make your vehicle more secure with the following prevention tips:
- Park your vehicle inside a locked and secure garage
- Block the access to the onboard diagnostic port to prevent thieves from reprogramming the vehicle’s key fob (a simple device can be purchased online)
- Use a steering wheel locking device to deter theft
- When not in use, place the vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag/pouch to block cell signals
- Consider equipping your vehicle with an aftermarket Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker. The tracker may assist police in locating the vehicle and/or suspects
Ensure all keys are accounted for and never left in the vehicle or unattended
- Lock your vehicle at all times
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended
- Consider purchasing a surveillance system and ensure the quality and function will capture any suspicious activity for a 24-hour period
If you observe suspicious people looking into vehicles in your neighbourhood, we encourage you to call police immediately. This will assist investigators in tracking patterns of criminal behaviour and potentially identifying suspects.
A crime in progress can be reported by calling 9-1-1.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information, or video surveillance footage, is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Leave a tip with Crime Stoppers in one of three convenient ways:
– the toll-free number of 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
– a secure anonymous tip online at waterloocrimestoppers.ca
or by mobile phone at www.p3tips.com
CRIME STOPPERS, MAKING YOUR STREETS SAFER ONE CALL