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Woman discovers keyless entry fob opens other locked cars

While rare, fobs can open cars other than your own
Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 29, 2016

You probably use a keyless entry remote to get in your car every single day. 

It turns out those remotes can be used to open more than just your car.

Jamie Anchor opens her car with the push of a button every time before hopping in and driving off. 

But on a trip to Walmart this week, she noticed something strange when she used this handy remote.

"I'm undoing it, okay.  Watch that black car in the parking lot.  I'm unlocking their car," she said as she watched it happen.

"I'm extremely freaked out," said Anchor.

Jamie's a single mom, living paycheck to paycheck.  And the idea someone could open her car with their remote and steal her stuff, or even her SUV, is unnerving.

"I have to make sure my car is empty at all times.  I don't want anything that I get, especially right now during the holidays, like gifts for my daughter, to be able to get taken from me and I'm left with nothing," said Anchor.

"They work off radio frequency much like the garage door openers in your home.   It's an encrypted code that's sent to your transmitter and opens your door," said Michael Bellavia with Park Auto Service in Pinellas Park.

Michael Bellavia says automakers are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve.  After issues with keyless entry in some vehicles a few years ago, the technology was upgraded, making getting into someone else's car with your remote, pretty hard to do.

"It's pretty unusual for it to occur.  But it does happen from time to time," said Bellavia.

Thankfully, there's also a simple fix if it ever does happen to you.

"It's definitely an issue that can be dealt with by the local dealership with a reprogramming of the fob and key," said Bellavia.

Jamie Anchor's planning to get that done right away.  In the mean time...

"I am an honest person and I did make sure that other car was locked back up!" said Anchor.