Thieves are Using New Technology to Steal Cars
(CBS Los Angeles) Car thieves are getting high tech.
Criminals have found a way to use a car's technology to help them easily break in and drive off.
Two men were able to get into two cars with ease holding nothing but a small box in their hands.
For years police didn't know how thieves were doing it, but now insurance investigators believe criminals are taking advantage of modern key fobs that allow owners to unlock their car and start it with the push of a button.
Roger Morris with the National Insurance Crime Bureau says two devices like this one can be used to mimic a key fob.
This recreation shows a man getting out of his car and using the fob to lock it.
Morris, in the blue jacket, uses a relay box to intercept the fob's code .
The code is then immediately 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.
These boxes came from a company that works with law enforcement but Morris believes professional criminals have figured out how to make their own.
They can be used to take a vehicle immediately or crooks can save the code and steal the car later on.
These devices may explain a recent increase in car thefts and law enforcement have yet to figure out how to stop it.
The national insurance crime lab recommends drivers with this technology be extra careful when locking their cars. Make sure to check around you for people acting suspicious or carrying a strange device.