Drivers warned of new signal 'jammers' used by criminals to steal vehicles and stay undetected

Drivers warned of new signal 'jammers' used by criminals to steal vehicles and stay undetected

Transport Secretary Mark Harper pledges to protect drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 30/01/2024

- 10:39

There are fears that more sophisticated methods are being used by criminals to steal cars

Experts are warning of a growing trend which sees criminals using new methods to prevent a stolen vehicle from being recovered.

Thieves managed to get their hands on a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG worth £194,000 in the middle of the afternoon from a location in West Sussex.

Much to the relief of the vehicle owner, the Tracker stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) unit had been activated within three hours.

Tracker then worked with the police to find it 40 miles away in Kent, allowing the police to make an arrest in connection with the theft of the premium vehicle.

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Person stealing car

Criminals are using more sophisticated signal-blocking methods to prevent from being caught 


The thieves used a “jammer” to block the vehicle’s GPS tracking signal, although Tracker’s VHF technology is immune to this technology and led the police straight to the vehicle.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, highlighted the use of jamming devices in car thefts and how it could start to become a more common trend.

He said: “However, in this case, the stolen Mercedes-Benz 63 AMG had one of our stolen vehicle recovery units fitted which uses a unique combination of VHF and GPS tracking technology.

“This meant that whilst the GPS signal was jammed, the VHF signal could still be read by police using the onboard Police Tracker console, providing real-time updates on the vehicle’s location.”

The stolen vehicle recovery solutions used by Tracker have been described as working like an electronic homing device.

A covert transmitter, which does not have an aerial, is hidden in one of “several dozen” places around the vehicle to ensure the thief doesn’t know it’s there.

Clive Wain continues, saying: “Another great advantage of Tracker’s VHF technology is it aids the location of a vehicle if it's hidden in the likes of a shipping container, a lock-up or in an underground car park.

“GPS signals simply struggle to be picked up from these places.

“Not all solutions on the market offer the same level of protection, but Tracker has an unrivalled stolen vehicle recovery rate of more than 95 per cent, with 80 percent of those stolen vehicles recovered within 24 hours.”

Videos circulating on social media have shown a man dressed in black holding a thin antenna turning his body in front of the door and a Rolls-Royce.

As he turns towards the car with the antenna held up, the car unlocks and the lights turn on, allowing the thief to get away with the £350,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

The video was caught on the homeowner's doorbell camera and shows a different technique of stealing a vehicle, compared to the typical use of a relay device.


Mercedes-Benz AMG C63

A Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 - the same model that was recovered by Tracker


Relay devices are normally far more compact and require little effort to pick up the signal from the key fob and bounce it to the vehicle, giving them access.

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