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RCMP News Release

Red Deer RCMP warn public of smart key emulators

February 28, 2024 3:51 PM

Red Deer, Alta – Red Deer RCMP wish to warn the public on the use of smart key emulators in vehicle thefts. A Smart Key Emulator is a device that allows you to create (emulate) a key for certain car models without using or having the original smart key. After emulating the key, the device can open and close the doors, the trunk, as well as start the engine at anytime, over an infinite amount of times. The emulator takes over the basic functions of the original smart key and essentially becomes the smart key.

Safety measures against Key Fob Emulator (Relay Attacks):

  1. Don’t leave valuable items (purses, GPS units, shopping bags or electronics) in your car. If you must do so, make sure they are out of sight in a locked glove box or trunk.
  2. If possible, park your car in a closed garage; this makes it a far less inviting target.
  3. Block your vehicle between your garage and a second less sought after vehicle.
  4. Use a steering wheel lock, also known as a club, to deter thieves.
  5. Install motion detection light and exterior surveillance cameras at home to act as a deterrent.
  6. Store your key fobs (all of them) in a metal container when not in use. The metal provides a barrier that interrupts radio signals to/from the smart fob.
  7. Alternatively, inexpensive RFID pouches are available. These have metal mesh linings that can shield a key fob from sending or receiving radio signals.
  8. Keep in mind that on occasion the thieves have returned to steal the replacement vehicle after the first one had been stolen, so continue to follow these tips.

Red Deer RCMP encourages everyone to report all thefts to police, by phone, in person, or using the RCMP app. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where additional patrols may be required.

You can contact Red Deer RCMP at 403-406-2200. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.