Thieves using special tech to steal your car
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
The number of stolen cars has dropped in half over the past 20 years as technology improved.
But in this Consumer Alerts some criminals are using technology to get into modern day vehicles.
Authorities are seeing an increasing number of break-ins like this theft caught on camera. Two men got into two cars with ease, holding nothing but a small box in their hands.
Michael Shin captured footage of a man unlocking his car.
"It's just a little unnerving that they could so easily just walk into my car and pretty much without any recourse without anybody really noticing," Shin said.
For years, police didni't know how thieves were doing it.
But now insurance investigators believe criminals are taking advantage of modern key fobs.
"You can't stop this kind of theft right now," said Roger Morris, the chief communications officer with the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Morris says devices can be used to mimic a key fob.
In this demonstration, a man gets ou tof his car and uses the fob to lock it.
Criminals can use a relay box to intercept the fob's code.
The code is then sent to a second man with a small box that now acts as the vehicle's fob, allowing him to unlock the car, open the door, start the car and drive away.
"We tested 35 vehicles. 18 of them we were able to start with the device as well and drive off," said Morris.
The boxes used in our test came from a company that works with law enforcement.
Investigators like Morris believe thieves have figured out how to make their own.
The National Insurance Crime Lab says drivers who own vehicles with this technology should be careful when they lock their vehicles and look for anyone near them acting suspiciously or carrying a strange device.