A handful of residents in Kingston’s west end had ‘rude awakenings’ this week when they arose to find their vehicles had been stolen from their driveways as they slept.
Two residents in the Henderson Place/Auden Park area reported their vehicles – an SUV and a pickup truck respectively – had been stolen on various neighbourhood groups on social media on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. Another resident, who did not specify where they live apart from being in the west end, also indicated their vehicle had been stolen on one of the posts. Those commenting noted there was no broken glass, or any other signs of vehicles being broken into, leading to the assumption that the vehicles had somehow been accessed electronically.
According to Const. Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police, those assumptions were correct. Gutheinz confirmed that three residents reported their vehicles stolen to Kingston Police on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, with those vehicles having been taken overnight. While Gutheinz was unable to say where, exactly, the vehicles were stolen from, he did confirm the vehicle thefts all took place in Kingston’s west end.
“Unknown suspects are able to use an electronic device to detect the electronic signal your key emits, which then transmits the signal to a repeater device held near your vehicle,” Gutheinz said.
“The vehicle can be opened and started at this point.”
With technology offering more ways for thieves to access and take vehicles, Gutheinz offered some tips for the public on how to protect themselves from such thefts, including:
- Keeping their car fob as far away from their vehicle as possible (not at their front door)
- Storing their key fob in a metal container or aluminum foil (this will help prevent the frequency from being transmitted)
- Installing a steering wheel lock
- Storing their vehicle inside their garage, if possible
Gutheinz also indicated that anyone with information regarding vehicle thefts should contact Kingston Police at 613-549-4660. Those who wish to submit tips to police anonymously can do so by calling Kingston Police (613-549-4660 ext. 0) and requesting to remain anonymous.