Thieves are using wireless transmitters to steal cars in Cork.

High tech car thieves on Leeside?

High tech gadgetry could be behind several car thefts in Cork city’s northside, the Cork Independent has learned.

The devices, as described by the AA, use wireless transmitters to get a signal from the car owner’s digital key which is then sent to the car to unlock it.

They then program a blank key fob to use with the vehicle.

The AA said thieves are also using jammers which can block the signal when the driver attempts to lock the car with their key fob.

One northside resident who had his jeep stolen last week said he was in his kitchen making dinner for his daughter and her friends when the thieves “just strolled up” and took his vehicle in a matter of seconds.

“That's how brazen they were,” the Gurranabraher resident told the Cork Independent.

In a video of the incident, two youths can be seen approaching the jeep and entering it with ease before driving off.

“You just push the button and you're gone, there's no messing around,” continued the resident.

“We had to go away and get a signal blocker, so we have a box now inside the kitchen and we put all the car keys into that now,” he added.

The resident said his was not an isolated case in the area and that a neighbour of his had her son’s car taken in the same way two nights later.

He said: “That’s the second or third (incident) that I’ve heard about. It’s an ongoing thing.”

Fortunately, after contacting gardaí and posting the video on social media, the jeep owner managed to find the jeep himself, just a 15 minute walk from his home.

“It was just pure luck,” he said.

“It was parked up ready to go again for the weekend I’d say. There was a smell of marijuana in the car and a bag of marijuana left in it,” he added.

When found, the car was undamaged but smelled strongly of marijuana and had shoeprints on the dashboard. The thieves had left phone chargers connected to the car and their phones’ Bluetooth IDs were still logged in its radio.

The jeep’s owner said: “Do you know how bold they were? They connected their phones to the Bluetooth, so you have John’s Phone 162, something like that, so they literally don’t care.”

“You’re nearly going back to the old days now. We’re ordering a steering wheel lock. When they see that, they’ll have no interest because there’s too much work in that,” added the resident.

According to the AA, an effective way to prevent these kinds of thefts is to purchase a key pouch that blocks any transmission of signals.

To help prevent cars stolen through the ‘jamming’ method, the AA recommends that car owners double check that their car is locked before leaving it.