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Newer car stolen, what now?

My brother’s 2015 Nissan Pathfinder was recently stolen out of his driveway. The truck was locked and the key was safely in the house. We, meaning my brothers and a few friends and family, were inside watching football at the time. Yet, the truck was broken into and driven off, later found abandoned with a few dings and scratches. The question is, how? This truck has the push-button start, so how did it start without the coded keyfob? After consulting with the dealer, thier only response was the use of some kind of amplifier that pulled and replicated the coded keyfob from the house? We both question that, but otherwise have no other idea. Does snyone else?

Many car thieves are more knowledgeable that many dealer techs on how to override vehicles’ security systems. Fortunately, yours wasn’t taken by a pro or it’d be on its way to a destination far far away… probably all chopped up by a “chop shop” and being used for parts.

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Ask the dealer how many keys are programmed to the car, this information can be displayed on the scan tool.

It wasn’t a prank? One of the friends might have taken the keys, given them to an accomplice, then retrieved the keys and replaced them while the game was still underway. I mean no offense to your guests, but this explanation is one easy way it might have occurred.

It might be possible that one of these new high-tech devices was used:


Would you mind giving a few more details ? Such as was window broken - door pried - steering column damaged.

That is a scary article @VDCdriver .

I’t does not say how close the thief would have to get to the key fob…to access the fobs entry codes…but I presume it may be within a few feet.

A thief could wait in a parking lot, for a nice flashy new car to show up. The thief would follow you to the door of the store and crowd you as you enter and access the codes. Follow you enough that they know you will not be in view of your car. Then the thief turns around, walks to your car, and drives off while you shop.

I’m glad my truck still uses a metal key.


@jtsanders explanation sounds like a typical prank some buddies would pull on their buddy.
Steal his brand new car and park it down the street.

But… the buddies would not have broken anything or dented and scratches the guy’s car.
They would have just driven it out of site and park it.


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@VDCdriver, A device like that was my first thought. How they managed to clone the key is a mystery, but I warned him to consider getting a new key and erasing the old one from the truck’s security module so that clone can’t be used again. The truck was taken from the driveway on Sunday afternoon and found abandoned in a town 25 miles away on Wednesday. So, we’re pretty sure it was a true crime and not a prank.

We have a car that uses a key fob that must be with the driver in order to start the car when pushing the start button. I wrapped the fob in grocery store aluminum foil and the car would not start! This is what we will use on both fobs when away from home or when conditions indicate.

Last year we were in FL and my chipped charge card in my billfold in my back pocket was apparently scanned in a people crowded area. The card was then duplicated with the magnetic strip only and used by others for two trial buys at charge card accepting soda machines and then was used for two large clothing and shoe store buys after which the charge card was shut down by the charge card co. who had a computer program that recognized unusual activity and alerted us via email. The charge card will now either be carried in my front pocket in or encased in foil when conditions indicate.


A subset of keyless-ignition cars, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, pose an even stealthier problem, because they are virtually silent when in electric mode, which they may well be when sitting still after parking. A driver doesn’t have to be absent-minded to assume that the car is shut down—after all, the engine isn’t running. But the car may not be truly off. The engine could restart itself, say to address a climate control need, potentially sending carbon monoxide into the residence.

Oh, man, I am so glad you posted this.
I don’t have such a vehicle, but I’d bet that the majority of those who do aren’t aware of this danger.

12 months later. Just another pitch for CO detectors. In Minnesota it is code for a detector to be on each floor of the house and within a few feet from every bedroom. Yes houses are supposed to be retrofitted to the new code but who knows how many are. It is just an afternoon of pulling wires and buying detectors that are both CO and smoke alarms.

Why wait for building code to get updated? I replaced my smoke detectors with CO and smoke detectors 5 years ago. And, CO detectors are not required under building code in Geogia.

As far as the stolen car, my brother’s Pathfinder was found in Morrow, GA, about 25 miles away. Aside from a few minor dings and scratches, there was not apparent damage. The most likely method was similar to this video:

Not if you own a log home. It will take a lot more than an afternoon to run wiring that wasn’t already installed when they built it.
I had one of those and it was almost a nightmare scenario when I went to sell it. Fortunately, it met current code but it was on the cusp of changing and that would have been real trouble for me. It took hours of negotiation and persistence to get it passed. By the way, the local fire inspector made me change the type of new detectors I installed. No double use and no photo type allowed near bathrooms or kitchens…regulations vary, check before you spend the time and money is my advice…

Someone stole my pickup 4 years ago; it’s 30 years old so low security. I took out a part necessary for it to run, keep it inside.

Wire mold when all else fails.

I do that when I leave for vacation. All that is needed is to disconnect the coils or pull out the rotor button. On my truck with DIS, I usually pull the EFI fuse and the fuel pump fuse.