By Alberto Frammartino, March 25, 2022
Cars are getting more expensive, and the technology that they contain is getting smarter. Unfortunately, criminals are also getting smarter and new methods of theft are being used all of the time. With this in mind, it has never been more important to make sure that you have the best security in place for your car.
Criminals will often use a number of different techniques in order to steal a vehicle. From the more traditional breaking and entering approach to looking at ways in which they can exploit any vulnerabilities in the technology of a car, you need to be aware of what you can do to avoid these approaches.
Companies like Trackershop have been specialising in the fitting of vehicle trackers for a number of years as just one of the ways in which individuals can help to protect themselves from car theft. We ask them here what are some types of car theft you may want to protect your vehicle from.
Types of car theft
There are 8 different types of car theft. These are:
Hanoi-style burglary – named after the police initiative that was created to stop this type of theft,Hanoi-style burglary involves the criminal entering the victim’s home, often by force, to obtain keys.
Relay theft – sometimes referred to as keyless entry car theft, this is one of the most common types of car theft and often targets vehicles parked near to an owner’s property.
The crime needs two offenders and the equipment that it needs costs a very small amount, making it easy to see why this method is so popular.
Transponder key cloning – this requires the keys to be acquired through a third party. This might be a car wash or an unscrupulous garage. The device is used to copy the key’s unique coding and then copy the code onto a blank key which can easily be purchased. Once the real key is returned to the vehicle owner, they are none the wiser that their car is marked for future theft.
Turbo decoder theft – This type of theft targets manual door locks. Unfortunately turbo decoders, which are likened to a modern skeleton key, can be purchased online because they form an important part of a legitimate locksmith’s toolkit.
Electronic control unit replacement – the ECU works in a way that is similar to a laptop or computer and can control the engine and other functions of the car. This is a time consuming method and is most commonly used on commercial vehicles in overnight storage.
On-board diagnostics compromise – criminals who have access to this type of device are able to gain information on the vehicle. Once they gain access to the vehicle using another method, they are then able to activate the device, downloading all of the car’s information.
They can also create a duplicated key similar to the method used in transponder key cloning.
GPS jamming device – this type of theft doesn’t target the car but rather the other types of security features that may be on the vehicle. It could target GPS tracking systems for example, which makes vehicles harder to locate once they have been stolen.
Car key code grabbing – this method involves waiting for someone in a public place such as a car park and electronically capturing a victim’s key code as they lock their car. One the thief has the code they can place it on a blank key.
How you can protect your vehicle
Using security devices like GPS tracking devices will certainly help protect your vehicle against most of these thefts. The best solution for most people is to use a combination of different security solutions, for example, a tracking device and a steering wheel lock. In some instances, your insurance provider may specify the type of tracking device they want you to use. Other ways to avoid theft is for owners to get used to placing their keys in a safe place or simply being more aware of what is going on around them when out and about.