Rise in car thefts linked to drivers forgetting key fobs

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Electronic keyless ignition systems designed in part to prevent theft, ironically make it easier for thieves to drive away in the car of their choice without damaging it. How? People keep leaving their fobs in the car, and police officers across the country are reminding motorists not to do that as they fight back against an increase in thefts.

Car jackings are on the rise in America, and the New York Times added that car thefts are also on the way. In the 1980s, stealing a car often involved breaking one of the windows, heating the wiring (usually by cutting a few wires), breaking the steering lock, and hoping there was no alarm. It was a risky, time consuming endeavor. The key fob eliminates all these steps; if it’s in the car, thieves can casually get in and drive away.

Law enforcement officials partly blame the rise in thefts on drivers who leave a key fob in the cab. Some hide it in the glove compartment, while others don’t even bother removing it from view and leaving it in the center console. When in the car, anyone can open the door with the handle, press the ignition button, turn on first, or drive and zoom out without drawing unnecessary attention. And new generation technology allows criminals of the new generation to take the stage, so cars are sometimes taken by bored teenagers who want to take them for an enjoyable ride.

Los Angeles police told the New York Times that, in an unexpected twist on the concept of car-sharing, some thieves merely borrow a stranger’s car without permission to drive from point A to point B, with no intention of dismembering it. to chop or say goodbye. It’s cheaper than calling an Uber. These cars are often delivered several kilometers from where they were brought without major damage. Across the country, in New York City, delivery drivers driving their cars while delivering food have been targeted. In those situations, you will not prevent someone from driving the car if you keep the remote control in your pocket; it only makes it more difficult to start after the engine has stopped.

The numbers are telling. In 2020, 6,858 cars were stolen in New York City, compared to 3,988 in 2019, and more than 3,450 of them were taken while driving. “This is a really stupid problem to have. The technology specifically developed to ban car thefts, such as key fobs, is now being used against us,” a Hartford, Conn., Police officer said at a news conference. 1,449 stolen cars were recovered in Hartford in 2020.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to make sure you find your car where you parked it. No need to buy a steering lock or fit an aftermarket alarm; just keep the key ring with you at all times.

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