They use special instruments to open the lock without damaging it and breaking tools, they steal from those who sleep and ‘on the bottle’ method, and their groups consist of a fence, carter or dismantling person. It is about car thieves who steal circa 15,5 thousand cars per year in Poland.
Organized crime groups steal cars. They are formed of members specializing in various industries of thieving craft. Among them, there are teams involved in getting into a car and running it, fences orientated towards legalizing the vehicle based on forged documents, carters transporting the vehicle from the place of the theft to the already chosen car park and dismantling people involved in dismantling the vehicle.
Specialist in car clouts
Among the people directly responsible for getting into the car there are, among others, mechanics, locksmiths and electronics engineers, because thanks to their learned profession they easily cope with the opening of locks using special instruments to open the lock without damaging it and running the engine. In the area of advanced solutions, an initiated thieve having the right equipment is able to easily neutralize immobilizer, eliminate auto alarm communicating with the CAN bus or – using a computer – take over the management of the keyless start.
‘I have many time met a situation, in which after finding a stolen car, the owner was not able to start it because the immobilizer was already transcoded and did not recognize the signals transmitted from the original keys’, says Mirosław Marianowski, Security Manager from the company Gannet Guard Systems engaged in tracking and finding stolen objects.
Thieves who cannot act gently use „breaking tools” to push the car locks. They also take advantage of the car owners’ carelessness that do not close the fuel filler cap properly. They just unscrew it and based on the lock they make a new key to open the door and start the vehicle. Sometimes criminals are so brazen that they steal cars in the presence of the owner. That’s how the cars with keys in the ignition and with the engine running left for a while – while the owner is just closing the fence gate or garage door – are stolen.
Various methods of theft
Thieving elite steal from those who are asleep. At night, as householders sleep, criminals get into the house, steal the keys and documents, and then drive out of the yard or garage. „I can remember a case, where two premium class cars left the property this way. The one, in which our GanTrack system was installed, was quickly located and returned to the owner. The other one was irrecoverable’– says Mirosław Marianowski.
Some part of thieves use the ‘collision’ method. It involves the intentional causing of harmless collision with a vehicle selected for steal, when, for instance, the user tries to leave the parking lot at the mall. The most often, upset driver is getting out of the car in a hurry to see what happened, and forgets to turn off the engine and take the keys. Taking advantage of this situation, the thief gets into his car and drives away. The method ‘on the bottle’ looks similarly. In a parked vehicle thieves put a plastic bottle between the wheel arch and the tire. At a time when the unsuspecting driver moves, he can hear the sounds of friction from the area of wheels. When he gets out of the car to check the situation, he stays with a crushed bottle taken from the wheel arch, while his vehicle with the thief inside leaves in the blue distance. There are similar methods: method on the stone or method on the wheel. There are also thefts carried out by organized criminal groups that place their man for instance in a car wash, in a car dealership service or pay a worker who helps them in getting the keys.
Thieves who steal from those who sleep, usually opt for night time for their actions, often after a long party organized by the householders. Proponents of the ‘on the bottle’ or ‘on the wheel’ technique steal during the day, using the surprise of people hurrying to work or tired after work. Burglaries usually take place between 23 and 4. Vehicles for dismantling usually disappear late in the evening, the day before car markets and are cut in a few hours into prime factors. Thieves also use the holidays, including 1st and 2nd November when they willingly ‘take care’ of cars left on parking lots at the cemeteries.
And after theft…
After getting stolen, car goes to a parking lot (sometimes even guarded), garage or ‘hollow’ previously selected by a criminal group. The so – called carter is responsible for taking the car from the crime place to the previously selected place. Then the car is usually left for a few days and observed in case there is installed an advanced alarm connected to the tracking system. „Thieves know that the location services are gaining popularity and try to eliminate the risk of tracking through them. That is among others why they commonly use the jammers of GPS/GSM signals, on which the majority of monitoring services is based” – says Mirosław Marianowski. He indicates that from the car owner’s point of view the systems using radio tracking are a much better solution. Specialists from the Department of fighting motor vehicle crime from the Warsaw Metropolitan Police are of the same opinion. They emphasize that such a solution is almost impossible to detect, and in addition the thieves have no opportunity to disrupt its work.
Stolen car is dealt with by fences, responsible for the preparation of relevant documents, distribution of parts or finding a new owner for the car as a set. If the car is intended for parts, the so – called dismantling guys dismantle it.
Forewarned is forearmed
Is it possible to avoid a car theft? „From the actions, which are designed to minimize the chances of theft, I would first of all take into consideration not creating any opportunity for a thief” – says Mirosław Marianowski from Gannet Guard Systems. „ Be sure to have your ears open and eyes in the back of the head at the time of approaching the vehicle before driving away and after stopping, before leaving the car. In suspicious situations, one should not get out of the vehicle, and if it’s necessary, they always should turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition” – says Marianowski. A good idea is to equip the vehicle with unusual protections, e.g. the ignition cutoff so that no one but the driver knows about it.
Tracked down – found
In addition to the anti-theft protection, one should think about the solution that allows to recover the vehicle. In this case, a system based on monitoring performs well. The most advances, like the GanTrack, make it possible to track cars with an accuracy of a few centimeters, and thanks to the used radio technology they are insensitive to the jammers of thieves. Some systems give you more than just location of your, but they can also alert about detaching the battery, towing, unauthorized opening of the doors, lid of the boot of engine. They also allow remote cutoff of ignition – certainly not while driving, but after stopping the car and turning the engine off – so the car is immobilized at the time agreed with the uniformed services, which allows you to recover the vehicle and stop the thieves.