According to the statistics of the Russian traffic police, 13,700 vehicles were stolen within the period of January — April 2018, which is 10% less than in 2017. The USA occupies 1st place for car thefts, with 773,139 car thefts that took place in 2017.
In order to decrease the risk of having your car or other valuables stolen, 5 Fun Facts did research and found out some of the professional methods that criminals use. Knowing these will help to protect you and your loved ones from this type of trouble.
1. A coin in a door handle
One of the most inventive ploys is to unlock the car with the help of a coin. A thief inserts a coin into the door handle of the car from the passenger side because drivers rarely pay attention to this door when alone. Later when the driver closes the car, the keychain lock will seemingly work, making the appropriate sound, but the central lock will get blocked by the coin and the car will stay open. That’s why it’s worth taking a look around the car before and after locking it.
2. Breaking in via the OBD port
Since 1996, all cars have started to be equipped with OBD ports. This is the port of access to the car computer, which is used for diagnostics. With the help of special equipment connected to the OBD, you can disable the standard alarm or unlock the doors. But the main thing is that the ignition key input can be imitated with its help.
One of the ways to protect the OBD port is:
- The port connector on all cars is standard. By changing its shape or the order in which the wires are located, you will make the equipment of car thieves’ useless.
Of course, in order to perform such a ploy, a thief will have to get inside the car, but this won’t be difficult for a professional.
3. An empty bottle
This type of car theft is usually performed in a semi-empty parking lot. And it’s very simple:
- A thief inserts a plastic bottle between a tire and a car fender from the passenger’s side so that a driver won’t notice it immediately. When the owner comes back to the car and starts to move it, he hears a loud and frightening noise from the bottle.
- When this happens, a driver will usually get out of the car to check what has happened. This is the moment when the theft happens, because drivers rarely turn off the engine and take their keys and valuables with them to check a wheel or find the source of an unknown noise.
Go around the car before leaving the parking lot and always stay aware.
4. “Cranky” alarm
This method is usually used when a car is parked in a yard. Thieves throw objects at the car that won’t harm it, but will activate the alarm. It will last until the owner grows impatient or the neighbors start complaining, asking for silence.
Thinking that the alarm got broken, the owner of the car will turn it off, and that’s when car thieves will jump into action. Even if they are not able to steal the car, they will be happy to steal some part of it.
5. A woman’s bag
This trick is usually performed at traffic lights and in crowdless places. It is expected that most people place and carry a bag with money and documents in the passenger seat and don’t lock the door when the car is in motion.
The moment you stop at a traffic light, a thief comes up to the car, and grabs the bag by opening the passenger door. After that, everything usually goes as per the thief’s plan — the driver leaves the car and runs after the thief. That’s the moment when the car gets stolen. If the thief’s expectations didn’t come true and the driver stays in the car, it’s likely that the driver will be contacted later and offered their belongings for a fee.
The same scheme is used by seemingly harmless beggars who come up to drivers at traffic lights. They try to provoke you to get out of the car, so that their partners can steal the car or other valuables.
Bonus: Why is there a ball below the windshield?
Not every driver studies the instruction manual of their car thoroughly, but they can find the answer to this question there. This ball is a climate control sensor.
Depending on the readings that the sensor transmits to the car’s computer, the climate control system selects the fan’s operation mode. That’s why every instruction manual warns you to not cover or block the sensor with other objects. This ball has a decorative function in cars that don’t have climate control.
Have you ever had someone try to steal your car? How did you manage to prevent the theft? Please share your experience with us in the comments!
Preview photo credit satyrn-908 / drive2