Reader Question: Electronic Break-Ins?

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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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  1. Get a couple of rattle snakes and leave them in one vehicle. They like to curl up under seats, where many thieves rummage around with their hand. They really don’t take well to prodding while sleeping.

    “No idea how they got in officer”. That should be the entirety of your statement if the cops even care. Don’t offer up that you have been repeatedly broken into.

    Just make sure nobody else has access to the vehicle.

  2. I don’t know about apps either- but I do know that there exists software (like for a laptop) that will automatically hack keyless entry/ignition. All the expense these systems add to cars….and for what? We were far better off with good old mechanical keys!


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