Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Tom asks: They have now broken into all three of my cars/trucks and never set off the alarms. I went to a couple dealerships and they know about this. They open customer’s cars and mostly tear the vehicles apart. I read that you can download apps for your phone that will unlock all models of doors on newer cars and even start engines. Can you confirm?
My reply: I don’t know about apps – as that would be overtly criminal – but I do know that it is possible to hack into a modern car with keyless entry; it works on the same principle as hacking into computers at public/open WiFi, electronically “lifting” credit cards (without physically stealing them) and so on. If a person acquires the correct transponder frequency/code to unlock your car, of course the alarm will not go off – for the same reason it does not go off when you push the “unlock” button on your actual transponder/key fob.
This is one of several reasons why I prefer physical keys to unlock the doors – and start the car. A physical key can be copied, too – of course. But it requires obtaining physical possession of the key, which is harder.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent this sort of break-in other than make the car itself less accessible as by parking it in a secured garage. If you must park outside, try to park in the light – and away from other cars. If you are parked outside of your house, consider installing motion-detector spotlights and cameras – ideally, obvious cameras so that thieves will see they are being seen (and recorded).
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