High-tech car theft

I think that this article, from my local newspaper, should give car dealers some good reasons for being more careful with their test-drive procedures. I would never have thought of this way of stealing a new car, but then again, I tend to be law-abiding:


Key copying is not new but I guess with the advent of electronic keys they have to invent a new method of getting the key that works.

key copying is the reason you don’t leave your entire ring of house & business keys when you drop the truck off for service.

There was recently a newspaper article about a couple that stole some high-end Mercedes the same way. I guess there’s always a way to steal a car if you’ve got the chutzpa and no scruples.

Speaking of chutzpa ;

we’ve had customer’s vehicles stolen right from the service write-up lane.
they sit there awaiting their turn with the keys in…
and some yayhoo waltzes in the open garage door and offs with the car. one was a classic Lincoln Mark III.

In Manchester about 20 years ago…The Honda dealer across from “The Mall of NH”…put up a tent in the parking lot for a big tent sale one labor day weekend. On Monday they went to retrieve the cars still under the tent that didn’t sell…3 of the 4 vehicles left had their transmission stolen.

Another way of heisting a vehicle is by test driving it out of state. The laws vary by state I think but generally a vehicle can’t be reported as stolen until after legal sunset.
That gives someone a pretty good head start for the state line.

Some years back a friend and I may have inadvertently helped someone steal a Harley Davidson cycle. He appeared to be out of gas on the interstate, was very antsy (which we attributed to being flustered over being broken down), and didn’t know the gas valve had a Reserve function, which held a full gallon.
After pointing this out he started the bike up, asked how far Ft. Smith, AR was (on the state line and about 30 miles away), stated that he had to be out of state by sundown, thanked us for the info, and took off. Fast.

At the time we did not read too much into it because I had just blown a rear tire tube on my BMW cycle, changed that about 10 minutes before, and I still had 150 miles to cover before the storms hit.
It was only much later on while thinking about how a Harley rider could possibly not know how the fuel Reserve function worked that we started putting it all together and a call to the sheriff revealed that the bike would not be legally stolen until after official sunset.

“…3 of the 4 vehicles left had their transmission stolen”

That’s not just brass, that’s a lot of time. I guess the next time they do something like this, there will be around the clock security.

Where I come from, no dealer would hand two young men the keys for a $148K Porsche…The salesman ALWAYS rides shotgun, even when road


Another article that I found on that crime went into more detail, and stated that the salesman DID go along for the ride. Apparently, at the end of the ride, the driver palmed the “real” keys and handed the salesman some keys that looked authentic enough, but were in reality–not the keys to that Panamera.

Even though this is an affluent area, I don’t think that car salesmen around here would allow someone to take a car out for a test drive alone.

Years ago here in Michigan, there was a car thief that would sell you the car and then steal it a few days later. He then would then replace the vin and paper work and sell it again.
At a auction I used to go to, they busted a group that would steal a car strip it. Then let be found. Then buy it at the auction. Good deal you have all the parts and now a clean title.

They don’t just steal the keys anymore

Scary. Truely scary.

Good thing I’m just ‘‘po’folk’’ and own vehicles no one would want to steal in the first place.

That’s the anti-theft key right there ;
Just own ‘‘plain and simple’’ and they’ll leave you alone.

If someone wants it bad enough they’ll figure out a way of getting it.
Back in 1969 here the Chevy dealer had a new facility put up on the west side of town which at the time was just starting to build that way. At night the traffic was a bit sparse.

This dealer had 2 1969 Camaro Z-28s with the DZ 302 engines in them sitting on the lot.
They opened up one Monday morning and found that someone had gone on the lot the night before and right under all of that lighting had pulled both motors, both 4 speed transmissions, and 8 wheels along with leaving both cars sitting on the ground.

Granted, some thieves can work quick but one would think they would have just stolen the cars (hot wire simple back then) instead of spending X amount of time gutting the cars on the lot.


<font color=“blue” face="times>Years ago here in Michigan, there was a car thief that would sell you the car and then steal it a few days later. He then would then replace the vin and paper work and sell it again.

Here in Chicago a VIN has to be replaced by an Illinois state trooper. One calls the local barracks and makes a reservation - they do house calls.

VIN rivets are impossible to match, and they are the first thing the blue look for after making a stop.