Tuesday, 15 November 2016

How technology has changed car crime

Car theft has been a pretty significant threat to drivers and dealership owners since cars have been around. However, like any criminal niche, security firms are constantly finding innovative ways to make cars harder to steal, and criminals have been finding new ways to get around these measures. Today, it’s now harder to steal cars, whether low or high-end, than ever before. However, auto crime is still a very real threat. In this post, we’ll take a look at how better security measures have changed auto crime.

Component theft is more widespread

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Stealing any modern car is now extremely challenging. However, these criminals apparently still have to eat! Terri Miller, executive director of prevention advocacy group Help Eliminate Auto Thefts, says that as cars have become harder and harder to steal as a whole, criminals have taken to stripping away the car one piece at a time. "We hear all this good news about auto theft being down in Michigan, but unfortunately, what's replaced that is component theft," Miller told the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Because it's harder to steal an entire vehicle these days, they're stealing the parts. The tyres and rims are not marked and they're very, very marketable." It seems that more and more criminals are taking steps to avoid the massive risk that comes with stealing a car, and turning to a safer, often more lucrative method. A criminal who steals the rims or tires from a car can typically be paid $100 to $400 by a fence (that is a person who knowingly buys stolen goods for resale), who can then sell them on to a collision repair shop or tire dealer for up to $900.

Smart keys breed sneaky thieves

There are many manufacturers currently developing technology which will help track stolen car parts. However, nothing has been tested and released to the market. Despite this, there have been various leaps forward when it comes to anti-theft technology. GPS vehicle tracking has become much more widespread, as have electronic key management services like KEYper Systems. However, as these systems have garnered more media attention, criminals have become more sophisticated to keep up. Modern criminals have been known to copy smart keys, use GPS and manufactured keys to steal rental vehicles, and pull off digital identity theft jobs in order to finance illicit vehicle purchases. The FBI has even warned of criminals being able to hack into cars remotely! Patrick Clancy, spokesperson for LoJack, a vehicle recovery tech firm, said: "Although numbers show a decline in theft, the impact that today's connected vehicle thief has on individuals and businesses that fall victim to them is much greater. We rely on our vehicles for much more than just transportation. Today, our vehicles hold critical information such as our phone contacts, registration and insurance details, even the address and directions to our home.” As consumer technology hurtles towards a world where pretty much everything is connected, we’re expected to see much more pressure on security firms to combat an ever-evolving car thief. If auto manufacturers don’t accommodate for modern needs, soon it will be much safer to buy severely outdated cars!


** This is a collaborative post

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