The report in a local daily yesterday about syndicates that steal cars is not entirely new, but every time we read one the gravity of their sophistication increases. The Star quoted Senior Asst. Comm. Khairuldin Saad from the Royal Malaysia Police who said that now car thieves can drive away with your vehicle in less than ten seconds with the help of high-tech devices such as frequency duplicators and signal jammers. Nicolas Cage’s movie Gone in 60 Seconds now sound like about a group of newbies, and the time it takes to steal a car has receded dramatically just like Cage’s hairline.
“Gone are the days when thieves unlocked the vehicle manually, hot-wired it to start and drove the car away,” said SAC Khairuldin.
The use of frequency duplicator allows them to copy the radio channel used in remote control alarm systems, before using it to unlock a car, particularly those which has keyless entry feature. Cars with GPS tracking can also be thwarted by a GPS jammer which can all be purchased online.
The Star report also explained that police investigations have revealed a layered modus operandi by the syndicates. “The thief would steal the car, dropped it off at a designated location for a middleman to pick it up. The drop-off locations would include public carparks at residential areas and supermarkets to avoid suspicion.
“The mastermind would decide on what to do with the stolen vehicle – to strip or sell it abroad,” he said. The different people would in most cases not even know each other. They are also paid differently depending on their role in the crime; “For example, thieves assigned to steal a Toyota Vellfire would be paid between RM5,000 and RM7,000 per vehicle.”
As a way to prevent from being a victim of car theft, SAC Khairuldin encourages owners to use extra safety measures that are simpler, such as pedal/brake and steering locks.