Tom Cruise was enraged when he learned he was a victim of a high-tech heist while filming sequences for Mission: Impossible 7 in Birmingham. After his luxury car, a BMW X7, was parked outside a Birmingham hotel, thieves used a scanner to clone the signal from the keyless ignition fob.
And the ploy, deserving of the gadget-obsessed MI film series, enabled the gang to drive away with the automobile right in front of Tom’s elite security crew.
“Tom had been driven around in the car while in Birmingham, and some of his luggage and belongings were inside it when it was taken. It’s since been recovered by police because it was equipped with an electronic tracking device, but everything inside it had gone,” shared a source to The Sun.
“It’s a huge embarrassment for the security team, and the guy who had been driving it was hopping mad — but not as mad as Tom!” The source added.
The thieves stole the black vehicle in minutes after intercepting the fob signal placed outside the Grand Hotel, which is within a two-minute walk from West Midlands Police headquarters.
Modern vehicles equipped with keyless entry and ignition fobs have grown increasingly vulnerable to “relay thieves” who operate via wireless transmitters. The thieves intercept signals by tricking the target vehicle into sending a message to the keyless fob.
The signal is then captured by an accomplice standing close to the vehicle, deceiving the automobile into believing the key is within range, allowing it to be unlocked. Once the accomplice is inside the car, the procedure can be repeated to start the engine and a blank fob programmed via the vehicle’s computer port.
BMW is believed to have sent Tom with an identical replacement vehicle within hours of the theft. Paramount Pictures, the producer of the new MI blockbuster, declined to give any comment.
“We received a report of a BMW X7 stolen from Church Street, Birmingham, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The car was recovered a short time later in Smethwick. CCTV inquiries have been made in the area that the car was recovered from. Inquiries are ongoing,” said the police spokesperson.