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The $10 Item That Can Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen

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Imagine getting in bed at night after a hard day’s work only to hear your car engine start. Curious, you roll out of bed and check the driveway.

Your car, though, is gone. There’s no broken glass or signs of forced entry. Yet you have the only set of keys in your hand. What the heck happened?

Unfortunately, car thieves can replicate the signal from your key fob using specialized but available equipment. They’re then able to get into your car, start it and drive away the same as if you placed your car keys in their hands yourself.

How Car Thieves Intercept Your Key Fob Signal

Modern key fobs constantly transmit a signal to cars. Thieves can use a device to relay or clone the signal.

Sometimes these thieves, if they’re brazen enough, will steal cars in broad daylight at a public mall or restaurant. Because they don’t need to know who the owner of the car is.

If they see a nice car that they want, and the owner presumably is nearby, they can stroll around until they’re able to get their cloning device within close enough range.

Therein lies the problem and the solution. The signal from a normal key fob usually is strong enough to copy from your driveway. Or from, say, 100 feet away in a crowded restaurant. So the thief doesn’t need to be standing right next to you to grab your key fob signal.

“You know how for your credit cards, your credit cards all have those RFID signals? And you’ve got to be aware that having an RFID wallet is a good idea because criminals can steal that signal out of the air?” Clark says.

“Well, that same kind of idea is what car thieves are using. Instead of having to bash your window and all that, they’re just intercepting your signal. And then next thing you know, your vehicle’s gone, maybe never to be seen again.”

The good news is there’s a cheap and easy way to block the signal transmitting from your key fob and shut down that potential avenue for car thieves.

Buy a Key Fob Protector To Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen

You can prevent your car from being stolen for less than $10.

If your vehicle includes a key fob, you should strongly consider making the purchase.

“Auto theft has been such a bad, ugly thing,” Clark says. “I heard a story on an airplane just last week from a gentlemen whose brand new car was stolen out of a parking lot right after he’d walked away. I’ve got an easy, cheap fix for you that will help prevent this.”

I bought a new vehicle in 2023. It’s a commonly-stolen vehicle — very attractive to criminals — so I take a number of safety and security measures. The key fob protector works. (My car will automatically unlock if I’m close to my car door with my key fob. But it won’t unlock if the key fob is inside the protector.)

The protector I bought goes for $8.99 on Amazon.

The key (pun intended) to making one of these pouches work is to put your key fob inside as soon as you get out of your vehicle and lock it. And leave it there until you need to unlock your car to get back into it.

“If you’re one of those big Amazon spenders, Amazon people tend to spend $10,” Clark says. “But if you shop around, you’ll pay $1, $3, $5.

“I’d seen people using them. I didn’t know why people were doing it. But I was seeing people with these little teeny fob pouches. And that’s what they’re for is to prevent the signal. So when they get out of their vehicle, they put the key in their pouch that is in their pocket, or a woman in their purse. And they walk away and there’s no signal for the criminal to intercept, duplicate your key and be off.”

Final Thoughts

Preventing your car from being stolen for less than the cost of a McDonald’s Happy Meal seems worth the money. Especially if your vehicle is at risk.

“This is a simple way to prevent a nasty crime,” Clark says.

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