Skip to comments.Car Thieves Can Steal Your Car Without Breaking Into It
Posted on 11/10/2003 9:04:01 PM PST by webber
It seems that car thieves have found another way to steal your car or truck without any effort at all. The car thieves peer through the windshield of your car or truck, write down the VIN number from the label on the dash, go to a local car dealership and request a duplicate key based on the VIN number.
The car dealer's parts dept will make a duplicate key from the VIN number and collect payment from the thief who will return to your car.
He doesn't have to break in, do any damage to the vehicle, or draw attention to himself. All he has to do is to walk up to your car, insert the key and off he goes to a local chop shop with your vehicle. It's that easy.
To avoid this from happening to you, simply put some tape (electrical tape, duct tape or medical tape) across the VIN label located on the dash board. By law, you cannot remove the VIN number, but you can cover it so it can't be viewed through the windshield by a car thief.
You may wish to forward this to your friends before some other car thief steals another car or truck.
Thought you might like to know.
Those wanting more documentation of this can look at the articles that come up on a Google search for "car thieves steal car vin duplicate key dealer".
I paid $25 to have a 'chipped' key made for my MDX after providing proof of ownership. Don't even ask what they wanted for the remote control module ;-)
A chain letter circulating claims that you should cover the VIN number of your car so that car thieves can't use it to duplicate your keys and steal your car.
Is it possible that a thief could use the VIN number to get duplicate keys for your car?
Yes, it is possible. However, unless they find a car dealer who is willing to order them without a title or registration plus ID, then the VIN number alone will do them very little good. Now, granted some car dealerships may replace keys without proper ID, but not many.
It is also true that there have been some car theft rings that were very sophisticated and could forge a new title that would look legit. Since making a new title that doesn't look suspicious, then showing up in-person at a reputable dealership to trick them into duplicating keys is a bold and risky move, it seems unlikely a thief would want to put himself in such a vulnerable position.
If you look into it, there are very few examples of car theft rings operating in this way. The latest example, in Atlanta, was targeting high end vehicles at dealerships rather than those in private ownership (presumably because the target vehicle is more likely to be in the same spot for a longer period of time).
Key Point: The vast majority of cars are not stolen this way.
The two most common tools for stealing your car are your own keys, or a screwdriver. I've seen several sites that claim that at least 70 percent of the car thefts are by non-professionals.
Your car's VIN number is your best protection for getting the vehicle back. It should probably be written or scratched into your car in more places, not less.
I visited many law enforcement sites about car theft and they say nothing about covering your VIN number to discourage thieves, but instead these sites encourage you to write your VIN number all over the car, including on your most valuable car parts and etching it onto all the windows of the vehicle. After a car is stolen, if the thief wants to resell the car, then the first thing a car thief wants to do is get rid of the old VIN number and replace it with a new one. They will create a title to go with it and then resell (fence) the vehicle.
Many law enforcement officials believe that thieves will not steal any vehicle that has the VIN number etched on all the windows because they will have to replace these windows before they can get rid of your car.
This will cost them a great deal of money and significantly slow the turn around on processing your car and fencing it.
If you etch the number on the car parts it will make chopping it more time consuming.
You can make up your own mind.
Although, covering the VIN number might give you peace of mind it is unlikely to protect you from most thieves. RESOURCES:
Auto Thief Prevention Tips- Washington DC Metro Police
Auto Thief Prevention - Fort
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