Carjacking has been one of the most profitable activities in the world of crime for decades.
What do you personally know about how to prevent your car from being stolen? Unfortunately, many drivers believe that the protection of modern vehicles has already been taken care of by their manufacturers. After all, with each new generation, vehicles are becoming more complex and automated, they already have the most modern anti-theft devices. At least, that’s what they say…
Well, this is true at some point, but do not forget that together with the improvement and development of these devices, car thieves develop and improve their skills too.
How Things Usually Go
Unexpected, most of the time. It’s quite unpleasant to approach the place where you left your car the day before and see that it’s not there. Or rather, he sees that it is not there.
Many have a brain freeze, others start to panic, combined with confusion in search of the missing vehicle, some call the police with a stolen vehicle report.
There are statistics on the circumstances, where, when and how the most common carjacking occurs.
This is useful information because knowing it and analyzing it correctly, you can understand how to protect your car from theft in the best way.
According to mechanicfaq.com statistics, vehicles are most often stolen in the following locations:
- Unsecured parking lots near shopping malls and stores. Very often car thieves are taking shifts there, watching cars coming, evaluating and, if they see the right one, stealing it right in the middle of the day. By the way, they evaluate not only the car itself but the behavior of the car owner as well. Often, the most scattered of them forget to set a car alarm on or even leave the keys in their car.
- Parking lots near office buildings, fitness centers, factories, etc. – in places, where a car is left, as a rule, not for just one hour, with no security. In such places, the so-called “observers” are often hanging, determinating which car can be “taken” without any fuss.
- In the backyards where drivers leave their cars while they are at home. The most common types of carjacking are at night. It is dark, everyone is asleep and even if the alarm goes off, it will be easier for a thief to escape.
- From the garages. It’s not that common but still happens, especially if an expensive car is hidden in there, for which the hijackers have an order.
- On a highway. This is probably the most dangerous option for the driver, as he may suffer physically. By force or deception, criminals get the keys to a car and just drive it away. This way often relates to out-of-town cars picked up on highways between cities. It’s good, if your car is equipped with a special satellite beacon which can be used to track it for some time, then, by promptly contacting the police, you have a good chance to get it back.
So, based on the above, I can say that your car can be stolen from almost any place and at any time. It is most protected only in various parking lots with permanent security.
In 2019, there are still no fresh game-changing methods of carjacking – as before, the most common and effective methods of carjacking are:
- Car lock picking. This method is one of the oldest and most primitive, applied mainly to old foreign cars and home production vehicles. The lock picking methods range from the use of lockpicks to the use of aggressive chemicals (acid) against its pin springs (they dissolve and the lock is easily opened with a screwdriver).
- Using a “code grabber”. Using this tool, criminals have been scanning a transmitted radio signal for years. By intercepting it, they can easily unlock the car’s security system and disable the alarm system. In the course of evolution, more sophisticated devices have emerged: “code substituting code grabbers” and “algorithmic code grabbers.” They allow you to intercept signals from the latest, advanced alarms and anti-theft systems.
- Reading the lock code of a modern car with the help of a “decoder“. After that, a new key is made and the necessary lock is opened. This method is usually used only by advanced car thieves.
- Disabling the regular immobilizer. With the help of the necessary device and a special program, a thief neutralizes the factory electronic security device of the car, resubmits (reprograms) it and then – can start and steal it.
- GSM signal jamming. By jamming this function, the hijacker ensures that a car owner will not be informed of a location of the car and that it is stolen. With the GSM signal running, all this information is transmitted to the alarm keychain.
It would also be useful to remind of the attacks and various schemes of deception of a car owner in order to seize his car key.
Main Anti-Theft Methods
It is no secret that carjacking is done by criminal elements of different qualification, both professionals and inexperienced criminals who suddenly wanted to steal this car. Someone does it for a joyride, others – on order or to disassemble the car for spare parts and then sell them.
Therefore, taking into account the recommendations of experienced car owners, as well as former hijackers’ advice, it is safe to say that the most effective is a comprehensive protection of your car.
The more obstacles it creates, the more time it will take for a hijacker to neutralize them, and thus the more likely that your car will stay with you.
Car thieves don’t usually tamper with a car for more than a few minutes – if it can not be stolen, they leave it alone. These obstacles and a variety of tricks can be created with the help of specialists from the car service center, as well as with your own hands.
Let’s imagine the most effective methods of car theft protection today:
- The most simple, but nevertheless quite effective, is the mechanical protection of the car from theft. This segment of anti-theft devices includes various mechanical locks for a steering wheel, gearbox or pedals. Such devices can be purchased in autoshops and used whenever you leave the car. In addition to their primary function, these devices have a psychological impact on the potential hijacker. They immediately show that the car is protected. Although, of course, this is not a significant obstacle for professionals, average car thieves will most probably retreat.
- Alarm system. A good alarm system, installed in a specialized workshop, reduces the probability of car theft by about 30%. Many of them not only signal and alert everyone else about the attempted theft, but also block the car’s main electrical circuits, preventing the engine from starting. A car theft secret is also considered to be quite effective.
- Hidden locks can be electronic or mechanical. Mechanical whhel locks are designed to prevent theft of the latter, and electronic secrets open the power supply circuit of a gasoline pump, ignition relay or starter, thus preventing the engine from starting. Usually, electronic locks are an inconspicuous toggle switch that opens the electrical circuit. The location of this toggle switch should be as discreet as possible.
- Immobilizer. This device blocks several electrical circuits of a car and does not allow to start the engine in case of emergency. Such a situation occurs if the chip installed in the car is replaced by a stolen chip or, more often, by a car key that the owner has. In this case, the code does not match when exchanging the coded signal with the immobiliser unit, and the circuits remain open. Even if your car is equipped with a standard immobilizer, it is a good idea to improve it or install an additional one. This protection measure will be a serious obstacle even for experienced hijackers.
- There are also special anti-theft devices that use bluetooth. They look like a small keychain without buttons and the car owner should always carry the divice with him, separately from the car keys. This security system periodically exchanges with the tag coded signals and unlocks the doors and engine of the car only if the owner is in close proximity or in the cabin. This is a very effective protection against theft in the event of a theft, as well as when reading the signal by code grabbers. The main thing is that the device should always be with you. Then, when the car is away from the owner at a certain distance, the system will shut down the car engine and the car thief, most likely, will try to retract.
Of course, there are other ways to protect a car. For example, a very effective way is to apply aerography or distinctive graphic marks to it. Such a car becomes very visible, it always stands out against the general background which is very disliked by the hijackers.
When buying a car, remember that it must be protected from theft as best as possible. Especially if you have become the owner of a new, liquid or very expensive car. In this regard, it is worth recalling that in addition to these measures to counteract the theft of the car, vigilance and caution of the car owner play huge role. Keep in mind that you are probably far not the only one that likes your car.