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Stolen car on Springdale Rd
August 5th, 2017
The Druid Hills Patrol has learned about multiple instances of criminal activity last night in Druid Hills.
 
A car was stolen from the backyard of a property on Springdale Rd last night, where thieves also entered and rummaged through other empty, unlocked vehicles. Someone also rummaged through other cars on Springdale Rd and broke the window of an unlocked and empty car parked on Oakdale Rd.
 
The car theft was particularly worrisome for many reasons.
  • The vehicles were all parked in a fenced backyard behind an electronic gate, which failed to deter the thief.
  • The thief worked very quietly, since the homeowners heard nothing and the dog did not bark.
  • The only way to open the electronic gate was via a remote, which the thief obviously located and used.
  • Worst of all, the thief was able to start the car without using the owner's key or hotwiring the car. In fact, the car that was stolen will become completely inoperable and unmovable if a window is broken or if hotwiring is attempted. That leaves only one possible explanation: the thief used a device to amplify the signal from the car's key fob that was located inside the house, or the signal was copied at another location.
The combination of stealth, chutzpah and sophisticated technology used to steal this vehicle suggests that this was not a simple opportunistic theft by someone who wandered up from Ponce or a couple of joy-riding teenagers breaking windows and hotwiring vehicles.
 
If you use a keyless fob to start your vehicle(s), we recommend that you speak to your dealership about ways that you can shield your keys and prevent copying of your key signal. We also suggest that you read articles that list the most vulnerable makes and models and more fully describe mechanisms that criminals use so that you can develop strategies to defend your vehicle. One solution appears to be storing key fobs in the freezer, due to its insulation! But shielding bags may also help. Here are three articles to get you started.
 
https://www.wired.com/2016/03/study-finds-24-car-models-open-unlocking-ignition-hack
 
https://www.wired.com/2017/04/just-pair-11-radio-gadgets-can-steal-car/
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/ct-thieves-hacking-key-fobs-newer-cars-20161214-story.html
 
NOTE: If you are a victim of a crime, always call the DHP voicemail after you have contacted police. The homeowner who lost his car to theft had some trouble getting police attention for this non-violent property crime. But the DHP's Lt. Singh was able to facilitate a better response from the jurisdiction. Our officers do their very best to not only deter crime but also expedite assistance for members who have been victims of crime.
 
Please remind your non-member friends and neighbors of this unpleasant reality: the APD and DKPD provide NO routine police patrols, only 911 response.
 
The Druid Hills Patrol provides the ONLY regular police presence in our community. Our officers are all bona fide APD and DKPD officers who patrol in uniform, fully equipped and in direct communication with police dispatch from both jurisdictions.
 
The only way we can increase the number of hours that police are present in our neighborhood is to fund the DHP and recruit more members. Please talk to your neighbors today.
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