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Old 09-30-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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New(or not) Vehicle Theft Tech


Here is INFO worth the price of your car....

WHAT WILL the car thieves THINK OF NEXT?
The car thieves peer through the windshield of your car or vehicle, write down the VIN # from the label on the dash, go to the local car dealership and request a duplicate key based on the VIN #.

I didn't believe this e-mail, so I called Chrysler-Dodge and pretended I had lost my keys. They told me to just bring in the VIN #, and they would cut me one on the spot, and I could order the keyless device if I wanted.

The Car Dealer's Parts Department will make a duplicate key from the VIN #, and collect payment from the thief who will return to your car.

The thief doesn't have to break in, do any damage to the vehicle, or draw attention to himself. All he has to do is walk up to your car, insert the key and off he goes to a local chop shop with your vehicle. You don't believe it? It IS THAT EASY.

To avoid this from happening to you, simply put some dark tape (electrical tape, duct tape or medical tape) across the VIN Number Metal Label located on the dashboard.

By law, you cannot remove the VIN, but you CAN cover it so it can't be viewed through the windshield by a car thief.

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: New(or not) Vehicle Theft Tech

On older cars that may work, but newer cars with RFID tags embedded in the keys, the key will open the doors, but the key will still need to be programmed to the vehicle.

My dad actually took advantage of this. He has to leave the steering column unlocked on his Focus when towing behind his RV. He had a spare key made for the car, but never programmed the car to accept that key, so it will unlock the steering, but will not start the car.


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Old 09-30-2010, 03:08 PM   #3
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Re: New(or not) Vehicle Theft Tech

This isn't's been circulating for a long time now. Dealers are supposed to request some kind of proof of ownership. I'm sure there are plenty of unscrupulous dealers who are happy to take the money with little persuading.

As always, Snopes has a logical take on it:
(Very long, heavily edited for brevity; if you have more interest, read the whole article.)
...the scheme doesn't necessarily pose a threat to the average car owner. Using VINs to steal cars isn't nearly as easy as the warning quoted above makes it sound: the thieves have to case the cars they want to steal, record VINs, make trips to auto dealerships, present some form of registration or proof of title, wait for the dealers to contact the manufacturers and make up duplicate keys, then return to wherever they found the cars in the first place and use the duplicate keys to steal them. But this is antithetical to the way car thieves generally work — they're creatures of opportunity who steal cars as they find them, quickly and anonymously. They don't want to have to go around recording VINs, forging documents, calling attention to themselves and risking exposure by showing their faces at auto dealerships, waiting around for keys to be made, and hoping the cased cars are still where they found them when they finally return with their duplicate keys. Car thieves have plenty of other methods for stealing automobiles at their disposal

{...} they were stealing automobiles from used car lots, not off the street or out of parking lots. They didn't just select some cars, then breeze into auto dealerships, walk out with keys in hand, and drive off in stolen cars a few minutes later: they had to take the time to generate forged certificates of title for the target cars first, and they were stealing cars from other dealerships, a method that guaranteed all the cars they had cased would still be in the same place once they returned with the duplicate keys.

Crooks who stalk mall parking lots for their targets have no
such guarantees — once they've expended the time and effort required to obtain duplicate keys, they're more likely than not to find that the cars those keys fit have already been driven off by their owners.
Note, though, that for some models of automobiles thieves don't even need to bother with VINs and dealerships, because they can duplicate the necessary keys all by themselves. The following excerpt from an NYPD/FBI report describes how members of another auto theft ring stole cars by crafting their own keys on the spot:
Information obtained from sources within the car theft ring indicated that Nissan Pathfinders and Toyota Forerunners were the vehicles of choice among this particular group, simply because they were easy to steal. Thieves need only to pop a door lock to obtain the ignition key code number. With this number and a portable key maker, they make a duplicate key and drive away with the vehicle within a relatively short period of time, reportedly 7 minutes or less.
I'll note that anyone who is that concerned about stealing your car could just tow it. I can rent a dolly or trailer for $60 per day, winch the car on in a scant few minutes, and drive away all while looking totally legitimate...and any idiot can pay a tow truck driver in cash, or (for the more determined ones) buy a tow truck. That's so much easier, cheaper (except the buying a tow truck option), and quicker that it shouldn't be a concern that they'll go to the greater effort of using your VIN.
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