Cars with keyless security systems increasingly targeted by thieves: Report

Cars with keyless security systems are increasingly becoming the targets of crime, a report said.

A British motoring industry group, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has warned that thieves are able to bypass security using equipment intended only for mechanics, BBC reported.

The warnings echoed those made by the US National Insurance Crime Bureau, which earlier this year said it had seen a "spike" in car thefts involving equipment to spoof keyless entry, the report said.

According to BBC, keyless entry and ignition typically works by the driver keeping a fob on their person which automatically opens the car and activates it so it can be driven.

As the popularity of keyless systems has increased, criminals have been buying equipment online that is able to re-programme keys, the report said.

Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement: "The criminal act of stealing vehicles through the re-programming of remote-entry keys is an on-going industry-wide problem.... we are taking this issue very seriously and our engineering teams are actively working in collaboration with insurance bodies and police forces to solve this continuously evolving problem."

The statement added: "This has already resulted in a number of prosecutions."

But Mr Ian Crowder, from motorists' group the AA, warned the risk should not be overstated, BBC reported.

"By far the most common way of a car being stolen is still from thieves breaking into homes and stealing keys," he said.