Technology has made obsolete the time-honoured practice of using a jimmy bar to get into a car and then hot-wiring it in order to steal it. These days it is being done electronically.
This month Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has seen a significant increase in reprograming thefts of high-end vehicles with keyless entry and push start technology in the Burlington area. To date, for the month of September, there have been a total of ten vehicles stolen from Burlington that have been attributed to what investigators believe to be reprograming thefts. These vehicles have been taken from residential driveways during the overnight hours. The thefts generally take less than 20 minutes to complete.
During a reprograming theft, the suspect(s) forcefully gains entry to the vehicle. Once inside, the suspect(s) access the diagnostic port of the vehicle which allows them to reprogram a blank key fob to start and steal the vehicle.
The majority of vehicles being targeted include (but are not limited to):
Lexus RX 350
There are some measures that residents can take to decrease the chance of the vehicle being stolen:
Park your vehicle in a locked garage
Block the exit of a potential target vehicle with a second vehicle parked behind it
Install and on-board diagnostic blocker/protector
Install a steering wheel lock device
Install an aftermarket GPS tracking device
Install home security cameras on the exterior of the residence
Always lock vehicle doors and close all windows
With the colder weather approaching never leave your vehicle running with the keys in the vehicle
Never leave a spare key inside any vehicle in the driveway
Ignition/Fuel Kill switches
Aftermarket car audio alarm
The HRPS is applying significant resources to investigate these occurrences. Crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Call 911 if you witness a crime in progress or if you see suspicious persons/vehicles in your neighbourhood.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Detective Constable Colin MacLeod of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2357.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.