Nearly three dozen high-end vehicles have been stolen in Ottawa so far this year, with many likely being nabbed through the use of a high-tech device called a “relay box.”

Peter Volkes woke up Thursday morning to find his Lexus missing. He and his wife, who are from Toronto, had been visiting their daughter when the theft happened. Volkes’ Lexus is the 35th luxury vehicle stolen in the city so far this year.

“We were literally feet away from the car when it was stolen in the middle of the night,” he said.

Just a few days ago, Gail Downey’s family lost a third Lexus from their driveway in under two months.

“Do we buy a Lexus? It’s really hard to put another car in the driveway,” Gail Downey told CTV Ottawa.

Thieves appear to be using a device called a “relay box,” police said, which allows them to open cars without alarms sounding. The high-tech device can search for and relay a nearby wireless key fob signal from inside a home.

Though Volkes hasn’t abandoned his loyalty to Lexus, he wonders why so many of the brand’s vehicles have been targeted.

“There are other cars in the neighbourhood that are worth as much as my Lexus and they’re not being targeted, he said, “so you would think there must be some issue with the Lexus.”

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Leah Larocque.