Car Thieves Are Exploiting One Big Technology Loophole
Access to cars has become easier than ever for criminals
Just when you think that technology is making it harder for thieves to steal cars or the contents inside of them, it turns out criminals have it easier than ever.
Check out this video, in which a thief merely pushes a button and has instant access to his chosen prey. Police say thieves have found a way to mimic the wireless remote entry signal found on many drivers' key chains.
A string of such break-ins has occurred in Chicago, where police department Sgt. Andrew Schoeff tells ABC News: "We believe this code-grabbing technology was utilized" in several crimes.
There are no firm car-theft numbers that distinguish between methods used to gain entry in car-related thefts, but the most-stolen vehicles are decidedly low tech – in many cases, they are more than a decade old.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, these were most frequently stolen cars in America in 2011, the most recent year for which there is complete data: 1. 1994 Honda Accord; 2. 1998 Honda Civic; 3. 2006 Ford F-Series; 4. 1991 Toyota Camry; 5. 2000 Dodge Caravan.
The best advice for keeping your car safe?
1. It probably sounds obvious, but isn't to too many people: Don't leave valuables in plain sight in the car.
2. Some thieves aren't as savvy as the ones in Chicago and are stealing cars the old-fashioned way: Either smashing their way in or preying on people who forget to lock their doors. So it may not stop criminal software engineers, but you'll increase your chances of staying safe by simply locking the doors.
3. Don't leave a valet key in an obvious spot. Or don't use one at all.
4. Consider using a mechanical device like The Club in addition to whatever electronic device you have.
5. Location, location, location. Park your car in well-lit lots or garages.