They use special instruments to open the lock without damaging it, breaking tools, steal while the owners are asleep or use „on the bottle”, and their group consists of a fence, carter or dismantling person. It is about car thieves, that steal circa 15 500 cars a year over the Vistula river.
Cars are stolen by organized crime groups. They are formed of members specializing in various industries of thieving craft. There are among them thieves 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 persons involved in dismantling the vehicle.
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 era of advances solutions, the 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 start keyless.
‘– 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 Gannet Guard Systems, dealing with tracking and finding stolen objects.
Thieves who cannot act gently use „breaking tool” to push the car locks. They also take advantage of the car owners’ carelessness, who don’t close the fuel filler cap properly. All they do is unscrewing 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 we the engine running left for a while – while the owner is just closing a fence gate or garage door are stolen.
Various methods of thef…
Thieves elite works also while the owners are sleeping. 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 with the GanTrack system installed was quickly located and returned to the owner. The other one, without the locator, was irretrievably lost – says Mirosław Marianowski.
Some 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. Using 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 the 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 nighttime 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 happen 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 the theft…
After the theft, 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 an advanced alarm connected to the tracking system is installed inside.
‘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 a car owner’s point of view, 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 to it, 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 in full. If the car is intended for parts, the so – called dismantling guys pull it to pieces
Forewarned is forearmed
Is it possible to avoid car theft? ‘From the actions 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 your head when you approach 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 recovering the vehicle. In this case, systems based on monitoring perform well. The most advanced, like the GanTrack, make it possible to track cars with accuracy of a few centimeters, and thanks to the used radio technology, they are insensitive to the jammers used by thieves.
Some of them allow you to not only protect the car, but they can also alert about detaching the battery, towing, unauthorized opening of the doors, lid of the boot of engine. They also allow you to remotely cutoff of ignition – certainly not while driving, but after having stopping the car and turning off the engine – so the car is immobilized at the time agreed with the uniformed services, which allows you to recover the vehicle and stop the thieves.