Tech-Savvy Thieves Clone Key Fob in Chilling SUV Heist in Quiet Paris Town

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In the quiet town of Paris, Ontario, a family stirred to discover an unsettling absence — their car, a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST, customarily parked in the driveway, had vanished. As dawn broke on this Tuesday morning, the realization that their vehicle was gone summoned an atmosphere of alarm.

The family immediately sought to unravel the mysterious disappearance of their white SUV, marked distinctively by black tape on its damaged driver’s side floor runner. Scrutiny of a neighbour’s security footage revealed that their vehicle had been stolen overnight, around 3:20 a.m. Not a hint of breakage or forced entry was detected, leading them to conclude that the thieves had cloned the key fob’s signal from the front door.

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Understandably, the discovery left the family, especially Kristy Hennebury, both exasperated and anxious. With a sense of urgency, they disseminated all available video footage and contacted the local law enforcement, Brant County OPP.

Sadly, this incident is far from isolated. Throughout Brant County and beyond, cases of vehicle thefts using technologically sophisticated methods like key fob copying are on the rise. “A vehicle of that age, it’s relatively new, 2021, is more than likely equipped with that technology,” opined OPP Const. Jonathan Bueckert, “Due to the accessibility, it’s becoming easier and easier and more convenient for thieves to execute a theft of this nature.”

Indeed, such thefts have not been confined to Brant County alone. Police records indicate similar crimes in Waterloo region, where a 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate SUV and a 2022 GMC Yukon Denali SUV were stolen around 2:30 a.m. on the same Tuesday. Brands like Lexus, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Dodge have frequently been targeted, a disturbing trend persisting since 2021.

Given the pervasiveness of electronic theft, Hennebury expressed frustration at the seeming lack of action by car manufacturers like General Motors. In her view, these corporations should be doing more to protect unsuspecting car owners from technological threats.

General Motors declined to comment. Nevertheless, organizations like the Canadian Automobile Association recommend precautions to prevent such thefts. Suggestions include using steering wheel locks, keeping keys away from the front door area, or storing them in a faraday bag that blocks electromagnetic fields exploited by keyless entry systems.

Elliott Silverstein, Director, Government Relations, at CAA Insurance, stressed the importance of adopting protective measures irrespective of the car make or model. Silverstein remarked, “Even if your car is not on the top ten list, you still need to take precautions, because even if your car is not on the list this year, it could be next year.”