One of the new features we’re seeing in cars today is the ability for them to be unlocked remotely through an app, or unlocking without the need for the insertion of a key or a press of the remote, as long as the owner of the car (and the key) is within distance of the vehicle. The goal is presumably convenience, but unfortunately it does raise some security concerns.

If anything this is ringing particularly true after a Mercedes-Benz was stolen in West Midlands, England where the thieves took as little as a minute and did not have to break anything. According to video footage that was released by investigators, it shows two men arriving at the home where the Mercedes was parked.

One of them approaches the front door of the house holding a relay box in his hand, and after waving the box at the front door, the car unlocked. What appears to have happened is that the relay box that was waved at the front door “stole” the signal of the car keys, which was presumably in the house. It then transmitted that signal to a second box next to the car, thus tricking it into thinking that the key is present, and unlocking the car in the process.

All of this took place in under a minute and like we said, the thieves did not have to smash the windows or hot wire the car in order to make off with it. Police have since advised owners of such cars to add an additional layer of safety by using a steering wheel lock.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about , and .