Thief Opened My Ford Focus without Keys

I own a 2014 Ford Focus. It has the "Auto Lock after some time" feature as well. We rarely use the car as we are a heavy public transport using family.

Last weekend I decided to take the car out for shopping and found things messy inside, drawers opened, things pulled out etc. I yelled at my wife saying if she was in a hurry looking for something, she better come back to put things back in place. She swore to god she did not open the and I told her off saying there is no way someone else opens the car without a key. I was so confident since we have never given the key to anyone.

Last few days she has painstakingly going through videos after coming home from work to proof that it was not her. I thought she has gone nuts. She, went through 2 weeks of videos (from the day we took the car last time) to find this. I am dumbfounded and speechless.

Video Link

How the hell this thief get into the car. :-o. Look how easily he/she opens it, as if it was never locked. I just went out and checked the lock of the car. It seems fine. He/She must have come jumping through the fence from the next door since I don't see anyone coming from the Road side. Once he/she is done with her business, he/she calmly walks to the road and walks away.

Phew.

closed Comments

  • +3

    At the end of the day, no one was hurt, but damn if you don’t feel a bit violated.

    Feels a bit like a horror movie when the ghost suddenly pops up on screen.

    • exactly.

      • +3

        You have cameras and light sensors and didn't connect them to an alarm?

        Poor wife, well done. I hope you apologised profusely.

  • +22

    Look how easily he/she opens it, as it was never locked.

    I assume you mean 'as if it was never locked'? Because if it wasn't locked, yeah it's quite easy to open a door :)

    That said, if the thief unlocked it, the indicator lights would have flashed. Are you sure it was locked?

    • That why I am confused. I always lock. I am the type who locks the door and pulls again hard to see if comes opening. And, we did not touch the car for a week or two. It would have definitely auto locked.

      • +17

        If the lights flash when the car auto locks then find that bit in your video…

        also with some Focus there is auto unlock if you try to open the door within 10 mins of being autolocked.

        • +12

          My goodness. It never did. So, I was under the wrong impression of Auto Locking. Yep, I panicked & posted this. (and was embarrassed as well). Anyway, thanks.

        • +64

          @Bavan:

          I think you should apologise, offer back rubs and cook dinner for a week. I suggest humble pie for dessert.

        • +4

          Excellent detectivizing.

        • +1

          @Scrooge McDuck:

          Bouquet of eneloops

        • +2

          @Bavan: shit mate! sucks that the 1 time its left unlocked someone comes creepin'

        • +1

          @R-Man:

          Apparently it could've been left unlocked for 2 weeks, and before that too.

        • unless the thief unlocked it before he went to open to doors, say 30 minutes prior or so? if he can get into it that easily, surely he can disable other features ???

      • +25

        If you unlock and don't actually open the door, it will autolock.
        If you unlock and open the door, it will not autolock after you close the door.

        Had to explain this so many times to my dad as he'd always leave the car unlocked.

        • +3

          This should be common sense if you understand the purpose of the feature.

          The possibility of the car automatically locking the keys within it would be a huge design flaw.

        • Yeah, my ASX is the same. Only auto-locks if the doors are not opened after unlocking (Oops, already mentioned below, my bad)

        • @Scrooge McDuck:
          2 generations ago the isuzu dmaxs did that. We had one at work where guys would hop out leaving the keys inside and be doing something for a minute and they would be stuck.
          Guys would keep the car going to keep the aircon going cause its hot up here. Soft c#*ks.

        • -1

          @DarwinBoy:

          I guess that's what you get when you buy a car from a moto-maker.

        • @DarwinBoy: Great for leaving kids in the car, while at the casino!

      • +2

        Assuming your car is the same as every other car I've used with remote locking, the auto lock only works if you unlock it but never open the door - it re-locks itself. This is to stop you accidentally pressing the button and your car staying unlocked forever.

        If, however, you unlock the car and then open a door, or, you never lock the car then it will stay unlocked indefinitely.

        Your car was not locked, that's how the thief was able to open the door.

        • Some do actually auto lock.
          Had a Veloster that acted as described, but also a Focus Titanium that would lock after 5 minutes or so! My parents’ Mazda 3 (Astina) definitely locks instantly when you walk away with the key.
          All of them had proximity keys, though.

  • +4

    My missus once got into a minor car accident and then lied about it. Just saying….

    • +22

      She has the upper hand now. I don't want to laugh at this comment and starve for next few days.

      • Just looking at the video again, i'm pretty sure the car is unlocked.

        • +1

          Yep, that's what I thought - no break in his walking, he was looking to see if car was locked as he approached, nothing in his hands.

    • +8

      same situation. it was a 20 cm scrape above the back right wheel. she didn't tell me and then the next day I went to the local shopping centre. did my shopping and only noticed it when I returned to the car. I was livid that someone would scrape my car and drive off. I got home and told the missus and she was like "oh my" - <shocked face>. 2 years later when we were selling the car I was complaining about the arsehole who did the hit and run, and then mrs altomic confessed….

      • +13

        Good on her being honest in the end. I had a phone call from the insurance company saying I clipped another vehicle. (Car was in my name) She was the only one driving that day! It took about a week for her to confess. I kept dropping subtle hints like "Hey love, did you crash my car"?

        • +23

          much subtle.

        • +2

          Good on her being honest in the end.

          After 2 years I hope that was the end!

          How can you have a partner relationship with someone you can't trust?

        • +4

          @Scrooge McDuck: I do not trust the government. What do I do?

        • @mikstylo:

          Withhold sex?

          Thankfully we have many more than 2 choices of partners.

  • +23

    It has the "Auto Lock after some time" feature as well.

    Ummm yeah, well this doesn't work like you think it does.

    No car will auto lock after you exit it on its own. In case you left your keys in there etc.

    Cars DO have an auto relock feature IF the car was LOCKED, and then UNLOCKED, BUT the doors are NOT opened. After a period of time they will relock.

    SO yeah OP, all these years you have been leaving the car unlocked if you think it self-locks.

    • +1

      Thanks for the explanation.

    • +5

      No car will auto lock after you exit it on its own.

      Yeah they will.

      New Captiva has this function from memory.

      But I definitely know that a 2016 MX5 I drove had this exact feature. Walk away and it locks. Use of proximity keys means it will never lock the keys in the car (all cars with keyless entry detect that the key is in the car).

      • +1

        Yeah, my 2016 Spark (read: Barina) has this feature using the proximity key. As long as you walk away with all keys removed from the vehicle it will auto-lock. If you leave a key in the vehicle and shut the door it will sound the horn 3 times to warn you. You can also set it to sound the horn when it auto-locks the door so you know it's done it. I just listen for the horn as I'm walking away and know that my doors are locked.

        • +1

          My Subaru is the same. I never have to take the keys out of my pocket. I can lock (and unlock) it by holding either front door handle (as long as I have the keys on me). And it will auto-lock after a period or, distance (not sure how long or, how many metres)

          So, can’t lock the keys in the car as it won’t lock and it does beep and carry on and embarrass the crap out of me if I’ve left my jacket with the keys in it on the back seat…

        • same with some Honda Civics 2016. The beep is loud enough so i know the car is locked behind me too. love it.

      • Do you still have the 2016 mx5? Looking to buy :)

      • Does Suzuki Swift have this feature?

    • So wrong lol.

    • Lots of after-market alarm systems also offer the auto-lock feature after last door/boot is closed.

      It's a feature I miss terribly, and took me a while to remember to manually lock my newer car when I got it.

      Sadly, a cheapie after-market alarm is very difficult to fit to a lot of newer cars with their Canbus type systems.

  • Maybe the auto lock feature failed or she turned it off or ???.

    Maybe test the auto lock….

    If the thief had a transponder it would've flashed the car's lights. So I'm guessing it wasn't locked.

  • +8

    Easy to open a door when it's not locked.

  • +9

    The car is definitely unlocked.

  • +29

    Somewhat off topic, but I hope you treat your wife better in the future and you've apologised to her. Must've made you feel good to yell at her.

    • +5

      I did apologise. :)

      • +3

        Sometimes these things happen, good on you apologising bud. Having said that I've not met a couple that have never had an argument!

        • +5

          I've never had an argument with my cat. But she gives me the silent treatment.

      • +2

        I hope you did more than just "apologise"

        Maybe go on groupon and grab something from there for your wife :)

  • I know two people who had a similar experience, glove boxes were open, things stolen. No damage to the car, the doors were definately locked and alarms set, but a door was found opened when they returned to the car. The only thing I could think of from googling was the theif used some kind of car key frequency lock copier to copy and unlock your car- just my speculation.

    • -1

      I don't want to think that way. It is too scary and make me helpless. I am going to assume, I or my wife left the car unlocked and it never auto-locked.

    • +3

      Remote unlocking uses rolling codes. There are ways to get around it, but people aren't going to that trouble just to rifle through your glove box contents.

    • Occam's razor: they just left the doors unlocked.

  • Reading the comments above, It seems the car must have left unlocked by one of us. Because the thief looks doesn't look like someone who is good at tech stuff or from the future. Actually, while looking at the other camera, I was expecting a massive truck like thing with some type of huge transmitter pointed towards my car deactivating its locks. But there was nothing but this poor thief walking away in desperation. So, I can sleep in peace. Thanks for all those who responded, though I feel like bit of dump for posting this. Cheers everyone.

    • Well, it was an interesting video to watch (if not a bit alarming) and if anything has showed me at least the importance of security systems.

      Which state in AU was this? The guy is so brazen.

      Also what camera set up do you use? I am thinking of getting cctv and your camera is really good quality for a night camera.

    • seems the car must have left unlocked by one of us

      And then your wife goes over the video recordings and proves it was you.

  • +26

    I yelled at my wife saying if she was in a hurry looking for something, she better come back to put things back in place.

    Last few days she has painstakingly going through videos after coming home from work to proof that it was not her. I thought she has gone nuts. She, went through 2 weeks of videos (from the day we took the car last time) to find this. I am dumbfounded and speechless.

    I am happy that you are still safe and not hurt. Be happy that your wife did not kill you for not believing her, only to prove you wrong later. As for the car, yeah it does look like it was never locked.

    • +30

      The fact that she had to go through 2 weeks of footage, to prove it wasn't HER, really does say something about the OP and the way he 'yelled' at his wife.

      • -35

        Come On folks.. :) I am not that bad. I rarely lose control. But, Un-Clean car is one of the very few things that triggers me.

        • +1

          Sounds like the thief stole your balls.

        • -3

          Don't worry mate, no one's perfect.

          Except all the OzBargain keyboard warriors.

        • +4

          @stonkered: Yeah don't worry, abusing your partner is fine hahaha /s

        • @dpr: It's what the thief wanted, but he never found any. :)

        • @bamman91:

          You tell 'em big boy, it's outrageous!

    • "Be happy that your wife did not kill you"

      Slight overreaction….

      • -2

        Or even worst, throw you to gutter and request your house and the car ;)

  • +2

    Does it have keyless entry?

    If so you may have been the victim of a crime where criminals relay the signal from the keyfob to the vehicle from outside the house or where ever the keyfob was.

    However it may be unlikely given that serious criminals use this technique and they usually do it to drive the vehicle away rather than just ransack it.

    • Yes it has. But, if it is the case, it would have triggered the lights like others have pointed out.

    • +2

      Yes, you might do this to steal a high end car, or steal the contents of a car if you know something very valuable is stored in there. You aren't going to do it to rummage through the contents of a Focus parked in a residential driveway.

      It's also important to distinguish the difference between remote unlocking and proximity unlocking. One is the standard key fob where you press a button. To relay this attack you still need to physically press the button on the fob. A proximity unlock only requires you to get a relay device within range of the keys - and that's the one you're thinking of.

      The way to get around a remote unlock is to have a device planted near the car which can record the code and simultaneously block that code from getting to the car's receiver. Doing this you can keep a buffer of one code (for replaying) and send the previous code to the car. When you need to, you can send the buffered code and gain access. It's complicated.

  • +13

    CCTV is invaluable, I think it just saved your relationship.
    Your wife finding the footage is more amazing than a car door being opened without keys.

    • :D

    • As soon as I move to the burbs I'm installing cameras.

  • +2

    I have two cars with proximity keys.
    While at home I keep both keys of both cars in an RF proof pouch. I'm paranoid.

    I even tested the RF pouch while sitting inside the car and the car wouldn't start. So the AliExpress RF pouch really works.

    • Thats just smart rather than paranoid IMO.

  • +2

    He's got balls, your light came on and he still chose to rummage through your car. Did he actually pinch anything?

    • May be few dollar notes, I am not sure. The phone holder and dash cam were in the seats untouched. He could have taken them, but didn't.

    • +2

      I do like a good rummage when the lights are on.

    • @.26 you can see a reflection(I assume another cars headlights) on the front of the victims car and the offender still keeps on rummaging.

      Need to superglue thumb tacks on the inside of the door handles.

    • +2

      If he's in the habit of doing this then he can assume that walking up to most houses at night time will trigger a sensor light. As there was no dog barking or other signs of life prior to the light coming on then, if anything, the sensor light just helped him see what he was doing better.

      Also if a light comes on and you immediately run off, you might get someone chasing after you in some circumstances. If the light comes on and you have an alibi ready you might save yourself being crash tackled courtesy of the benefit of the doubt

      • What 'alibi' could you use though? I was looking for my cat?

        He's just playing the numbers, sensor most likely won't alarm anyone but if it does he'll get plenty of notice in the still of the night and quickly and quietly remove himself from the situation.

  • -1

    Do you think a repo agent uses keys to get into a car?

    I'm not watching your clip, but thought it funny that some people might think that you need a key to get into most cars.

    I've seen vehicles unlocked with a plumbers plunger around the key entry and at other times a metal slide inserted between the panel and the glass to "nudge" the mechanism.

    I'm not up to date on electronic entry but would not be surprised to hear that those have an easy circumvention as well.

    • +1

      If the car is locked, and they do this to unlock it then the alarm would go off.

      • +1

        A valid point - mea culpa
        I'm showing my age when I say back when I used to help out a mate who drove tow trucks, most cars didn't have alarms.

        I've taken the time to now watch the clip, and yeah, looks like someone definitely forgot to lock the car.

      • +1

        In many cars, even using the key (in the lock) to unlock it will set of the alarm. The key hole on the door is only there for emergencies.

    • -1

      Yes the plunger method can also be achieved with half a tennis ball https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tennis+ball+car...

  • Probably want to apologise again to wife.

    Probably find you locked the car, but in bag/handbag/drawer the unlock button was knocked. Could have been animal, child etc etc.

  • +2

    We had a Camira once that even we could break into. We locked ourselves out one day, scoured a nearby alley for a bit of metal, slid it down the window and, clunk, it opened. Presumably car locks are better nowdays.

    Sounds like the missus is pretty resourceful to go back through the footage. Probably best to buy the missus some chocolates and make sure the car is locked from now on.

    • +1

      It sounds like the both parties are working as a team now. One spending hours going through footage and one spending hours on here listening to others.

      • -4

        If the footage is available and she knew that she hadn't left the car in a mess then it is probably best to go back through the footage to see what occured. This was obviously a breakin so the issue then becomes who and when, I would've done the same thing even if only for the curiosity factor.

        • +1

          @try2bhelpful: this has nothing to do with women, stop trying to push the gender narrative whenever you can just to make your point

  • So, when you went to the car was it locked? I doubt the theif would have locked it so I’m assiming no? And if you have been relying on autolock to lock the car then every time you returned to the car it would have been unlocked. Wouldn’t that ring alarm bells (figuratively of course).

  • Something to watch with an older car - I did not realise that a door lock actuator motor had failed on a Subaru I once owned. Car appeared to auto lock normally, lights flashed etc. After the car was opened one night and I lost a six pack of wine I realised what had happened. Bought a new motor on line and installed it myself (dealer cost exorbitant!) - all fixed.

  • Ain't no way in hell that car was locked! If it was a 'prox' key(which that model ain't) the blinkers flash for confirmation of lock/unlock. How did the 'thief' come from next door then walk towards the road when leaving? I saw them come & go from/in the same direction?!

  • Interesting that the use of the sensor light is not a real deterrent and presumably the camera is only there for archival footage like don't you check the footage every night?

    Have you informed police just so they can keep a look out for this crim on the streets?

    • +1

      Who checks their footage every night? The footage is there so you can see what happened when there has been an incident.

      • If you're paranoid enough to rig security cameras up I would be checking for what's been going on while you're asleep etc.

        Otherwise its a bit of a waste after the event, if you saw strangers around the place for a few weeks wouldn't you pass the info on to cops or take some other form of safeguard?

        • No mate. Reviewing surveillance footage everyday for no apparent reason is just weird. Try watching movies. They are more fun sometimes.

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