Car thieves act with greater speed and efficiency, they are equipped with the newest systems disarming any security, but one-thing remains unchanged – stolen vehicles firstly go to the chop shop. Still, even there “professionals” show a significant inventiveness.
According to the police, in 2014 there was a decline in the thefts of cars in Poland. In 2013, nearly 15, 5 thousand passengers cars were reported stolen, whereas in 2014 circa 14,1 thousand. The most often, Volkswagen Golf and Passat as well as Audi – A4 and A6 disappear from the streets and parking lots. The top ten also included Audi A3, Volkswagen Touran, Ford Mondeo, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Where do the cars that ‘change the owner’ in the unplanned way go?
Car theft it is usually, at least in case of professionals, operation prepared in the smallest details. Only amateurs allow themselves to drive off in someone else’s car and leave it near their place of living or at their friends’ place.
After theft, vehicle first goes to a place, where it is “ventilated”. This is often for example parking by the road out of the city or garage selected by a criminal group. Then, the car is left for a few days and observed in case an advanced alarm connected to the tracking system is installed inside or if it were to turn out that the car belongs to someone ‘inappropriate’ from the thieves’ point of view.
– Thieves know that location services are gaining popularity and are trying to eliminate the risk of being tracked by their means. That is among others why they commonly use the jammers of GPS/GSM signals, on which the majority of monitoring systems is based – says Mirosław Marianowski, expert from Gannet Guard System dealing with tracking and finding stolen vehicles.
If from the point of view of thieves no suspected people are hanging around the car, the car goes to the chop shop. This is a place, where depending on the car’s destination, it is either disassembled to pieces or prepared for sale by changing, among others, serial numbers. The chop shop must be inconspicuous in appearance, so it does not attract the attention of outsiders (including the police).
Chop shops and garages are organized in various places. They can be located in neighborhoods in large cities, most often in one of the many adjoining garages. This place has nothing special to the untrained eye. Sometimes vehicles end up in the workshops of service undertakings involved in the repair of vehicles.
– A few years ago, we tracked down Caterpillar in one of such garages near Warsaw. The situation was quite funny, because eight guys who were at the scene were so surprised by the appearance of our team accompanied by the police that they were not able to explain their presence. One of the gentlemen in flip – flops justified himself that he came from Poznan for strawberries and he did not know why the uniformed identified him – says Mirosław Marianowski from Gannet Guard Systems.
In addition to urban centres, it often happens that different utility rooms play the role of garages. These are wooden or brick barns, garages, and even pigsties.
There are also specialized garages, i.e. where specialists in dismantling stolen vehicles for parts work individually or in teams. These are places with good lighting, where the efficiency of work increases – that is why they are often devoid of windows so that nosy neighbours do not get a chance to see anything. Others equip them with jammers aimed at preventing the location of a stolen vehicle.