Thursday, January 20, 2011
Pig Flu Auto Theft Scare
Remember how we were all going to die from H1N1, Pig Flu, Chinese Bird Flu or some other mass pandemic? Did it happen? The news media had a field day scaring folks into getting face masks, flu shots or even pulling children from school to avoid contact with others who might already be carriers.
This past week there’s a similar scare tactic on our local NBC station, KPRC; only this time we’re being warned about high tech auto thieves lurking behind every blade of grass, bush and tree. This new brand of auto thief doesn’t need to break the window or lock; he only needs a cheap electronic device which hacks into your remote to steal the code which opens and starts the car.
Everything in the story was true; devices are out there which are capable of stealing the electronic codes when you lock or unlock your car, some thieves have been found to be in possession of these devices and there is a chance your fancy car could be stolen in this manner. Common sense dictates a modicum of caution; however, before getting too concerned, this information came from Switzerland and there is little indication the devices are in widespread use here.
“KPRC Local 2 checked with Houston police, who said they have not heard of any cases like this. They said keyless entry has helped car thefts decrease.”
Imagine that, the police have not heard of ANY cases like this. I would; however, amend their assumption that keyless entry has helped to decrease car thefts. Most newer vehicles are equipped with an anti-theft device called a transponder system.
A little transmitter about the size of a large grain of rice is embedded in the head of the ignition key. When you turn the key towards the start position, energy from the vehicle's battery activates the device which sends a long strand of code to the vehicle’s computer. Unless the information stored in the computer matches the car won’t start. Transponder key systems are mostly responsible for the decrease in car thefts.
Unfortunately, auto thieves have figured this out. Instead of stealing your car after you’ve gone inside the house or shopping mall, these guys know they can’t just smash the ignition switch with a hammer and screw driver like they could years ago. Now auto thieves have to stick a gun to your head to obtain the fancy transponder key in order to get your car; the crime is called Armed Robbery, with or without serious bodily injury.
I wrote an article back in July which included auto theft statistics . The police department failed to include the most important information, were the vehicles stolen equipped with transponder technology or were these older vehicles. I tried to obtain the information but could find nobody capable of extracting this important statistic from their over burdened computer data base.
The price of gas goes up a few cents each week and is hovering at three dollars a gallon. It’s expected to reach much higher; maybe that should be phrased differently, certain government officials, under pressure from environmentalists, would prefer the price of gasoline to reach five dollars per gallon in order to save the planet. Never mind the economy falling off the charts, our jobless rate equals or surpasses that of the Great Depression, China’s about to call in our markers because the dollar isn’t worth gambling on; no, we need to get worked up because auto thieves in Switzerland have figured out a new way to steal cars equipped with a push button starter.
This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.
Posted by T. F. Stern at 10:03 AM