No, you didn’t forget to lock your car. Thieves broke in anyway, using what a New York Times article called “a relatively simple and inexpensive device” called a power amplifier. This device — which can be purchased online (at the time the article was written in 2015) for as little as $17 — amplifies the distance the signal from your car can search for its key.
Normally, the signal travels only a few feet, so your car unlocks when you touch the door handle. But this device extends that signal to the inside of your house where your car keys are sitting on a counter or table near the door.
Some car companies may have solved this problem by installing a chip that can tell how far the key is from the car, so the power-amplifier trick won’t work. But, from the number of damage-less break-ins in our neighborhood, a lot of our vehicles don’t have this.
The expert consulted in the article advises that the best way to protect your car is to put your car keys in the freezer (your own in-home “Faraday cage”), which doesn’t allow a signal to get in or out. ■
© 2017 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201712c.html]