High-Tech Car Theft: Hyundai Ioniq 5 Stolen in Under 30 Seconds

A car theft case has rocked London, England, with the perpetrator managing to steal a vehicle in less than half a minute using a device resembling a handheld gaming console, akin to a Gameboy. The theft targeted a Hyundai vehicle owned by Steve Jessop, a resident of London.

As reported by The Guardian, the incident occurred in early February, with CCTV footage capturing the criminal act being executed swiftly and effortlessly.

In the video, the thief, clad in a hoodie, approaches the car, opens the door, and starts the engine without any signs of force, appearing almost as if they were the legitimate owner of the vehicle.

Remarkably, Steve Jessop's Hyundai Ioniq 5 key was still inside his house, and there were no indications of insider involvement in the theft.

"It's absolutely extraordinary, I saw it and just thought how did that happen? I genuinely thought with all the technology in this car, there's no way it can be stolen," Jessop expressed, as quoted by The Guardian, on Sunday (25/2/2024).

Unfortunately, Jessop received no further leads from the Metropolitan police. He filed a report on the evening of the theft on February 8 and was informed via email at lunchtime the following day that the case had been closed.

On the other hand, industry sources revealed that high-tech devices disguised as handheld gaming consoles are being traded online for thousands of pounds and are utilized by organized crime gangs to mimic electronic keys on Hyundai Ioniq 5 cars.

The device, known as an "emulator," can unlock doors and start the engine, mimicking the original key.

The emulator works by intercepting signals from the car, which scan for the presence of the original key, and then sends back signals to gain access to the vehicle.

It turns out that this modus operandi is not isolated to Jessop alone. Consequently, many Ioniq 5 vehicles are being sold and used with steering wheel locks to prevent theft.

Experts attribute the surge in Hyundai Ioniq 5 thefts using gaming console devices to the keyless entry system.

Automotive lawyer Nick Freeman stated that there is a strong legal argument suggesting that these cars are not secure and are not fit for their intended purpose.

"The automotive industry has been remiss. The government has failed to prioritize safety, and it is the driver who suffers as a result," Freeman remarked.

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