Over the past two years, we’ve brought you in-depth coverage of a crop of shadowy gadgets designed to give thieves access to parked vehicles.
Like most tools of the trade, the gadgets are very similar, using the same principle to achieve the same result — unlocking a parked vehicle by sending signals to the car’s own keyless-entry system. For vehicles with a push-button ignition, the same gadgets can sometimes start the vehicle, giving that thief an instant lifestyle upgrade.
Now, a “mystery device” purchased by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has revealed just how vulnerable an average vehicle is to these high-tech slim jims. (Read More…)
As fun as it is to overhype the dangers of Halloween to frighten adults, we all know that poisoned candy and razor blade-filled apples are bunk. The odds of you finding an anthrax-laden piece of taffy are so improbable that they aren’t worth mentioning. You are statistically more likely to harm yourself by drinking a glow stick out of curiosity.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t spooky things going on. Plenty of sinister automotive stuff happens on October 31, making Halloween a scary time for cars. (Read More…)
It’s hard to keep a good car down…or in your driveway.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual “Hot Wheels” report this week, identifying the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. It seems that thieves just can’t shake their appreciation of Clinton-era Civics and Accords. (Read More…)
Good news! That “mysterious device” that extends the reach of keyless entry systems so meth heads — um — ICP fans — er — idiots can rummage through your car and borrow your wallet, purse or golf clubs without bringing them back is now on sale!
For 15-percent off for the holiday weekend only, you can have your own Chinese-made codes that totally won’t be used for going through your neighbor’s Prius and stealing his iPod.
The code scanner uses “brute force” or “nerd magic” to pick up key codes and open car doors. The device sells for around $100 on many easily found sites, but for savvy shoppers looking to spend their saved dough on cheap cough syrup, it’s 15-percent off for you!
Kansas City’s KCTV reported this week on an attempt to repair a 2012 Missouri state law that has led to a dramatic increase in car thefts. The law, which allows people to sell vehicles 10 years or older without a title, was originally intended to help rural property owners dispose of derelict vehicles and outdated machinery that would otherwise be left to rot. Criminals, however, soon discovered that they could scoop up virtually any vehicle that met the standard and sell it to scrap yards for a tidy profit. (Read More…)
TTAC’s had periodic posts about car theft, from a recent news item on a student project disappearing in the night (here) to hacking into a car (here and here). A recent book however provides a, well, book-length treatment.
Having spent most of my driving years in car-theft-prone neighborhoods in California and preferring the please-steal-me Honda Civic as my daily driver of choice, I learned many years ago that a secret starter and/or fuel-pump cutoff switch is a must-have. Such kill switches have prevented theft of my past Civics on three occasions that I know about. Last week, the maddeningly hard-to-find kill switch I installed in my 18.2-second quarter-miler 1992 Civic left a Denver Honda thief empty-handed. (Read More…)