National Consumer News

Thieves are using laptop computers to steal cars


By Mike Timmermann,

Thieves are using laptop computers to hack into the electronic ignitions of late-model cars, and one recent incident was caught on camera.

High-tech thieves are using computers to steal cars

A homeowner in Houston says two men teamed up to steal his daughter’s Jeep from their driveway.

Home security video released by police showed the first man as he walked up and lifted the hood, apparently to cut off the alarm,KHOU-TV reported. Minutes later, a second man with a laptop got inside the vehicle and drove off.

Police in Houston say they’ve seen later model Jeeps, Grand Cherokees and Dodge Rams targeted across the city. And KHOU-TV reports that most of the stolen vehicles have not been recovered.

A Fiat Chrysler official told the Wall Street Journal that he believes the Houston thieves “are using dealer tools to marry another key fob to the car.”

At this point, there’s no way to know how many cars are being broken into using this method. But the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which tracks car thefts, warned in 2015 about “mystery devices” that can break into vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Tesla Motors have had to alter their car electronics over the last couple of years after learning their vehicles could be hacked.

Despite this emerging threat, experts say older vehicles are still more likely to be targeted by thieves.

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