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CBS4 Exclusive: Clever Thieves Using Signals From Key Fobs To Burglarize Vehicles

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - North Miami police have recently seen isolated incidents of cars being broken into or stolen, while the owner's key fob sits inside their home. Those incidents happened in the Keystone and Sans Souci neighborhoods.

"We had a few isolated accounts of people saying that their vehicles were taken or compromised, broken into, and their keys are still with them. In doing our research we figured out what is enabling people to get into vehicles like that," said North Miami Police Major Kessler Brooks.

Brooks explained how the criminals pull this off. He told said that this is a two-man job that can be done in less than one minute.

One person will scan the targeted home with a device to locate a key fob. Once they lock in a signal, they will transmit that to another person who is waiting near the car. Depending on the strength, the criminals can break into or even steal the vehicle.

"It's happening everywhere. This is not a North Miami problem, this is not a Dade County problem, it's happening across the nation and abroad," said Brooks.

Police recommend buying an RFID pouch online that can block the signal a key fob emits. They said the more walls between your key fob and your car the better protected you are.

David Salazar bought the pouches after hearing about car thefts.

"I bought them for my wife and my daughter just to be safe and we've been using them. We haven't had any issues here but, we know in Keystone and in other areas, people had issues with break-ins, people searching through their cars and taking valuables," he said.

Salazar said he was stunned when he learned what was happening.

"Yeah, you feel kind of violated that they'll take advantage of those situations and use technology to their benefit," he said.

If you think you have been a victim of a crime like this, pick up the phone and call your local police department.

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