PETALING JAYA: Gone in 60 seconds? Most definitely not.
In fact, it takes less than 10 seconds for car thieves to drive away a vehicle with the help of high-tech devices such as signal jammers and frequency duplicators.
“Gone are the days when thieves unlocked the vehicle manually, hot-wired it to start and drove the car away,” said Senior Asst Comm Khairuldin Saad.
He said thieves used sophisticated gadgets and only took less than six seconds to unlock a vehicle.
Thieves had also been known to use “programmer” or frequency duplicator, to copy the radio channel used to lock the car, to unlock keyless vehicles.
He said they also used GPS jammer to prevent the car from being traced after they are driven off.
“The devices used by car thieves can be obtained via online shopping,” he said.
Police investigations revealed there are multiple facets involved in a car theft – from those hired to steal the vehicle, the transporter who would bring the vehicles to its last stop and the mastermind involved.
“The thief would steal the car, dropped it off at a designated location for a middleman to pick it up.
“The mastermind would decide on what to do with the stolen vehicle – to strip or sell it abroad,” he said.
Car thieves, he said, used carparks at the supermarket and residential areas as their drop off point to avoid suspicion.
SAC Khairuldin said members of the syndicate would not meet up with each other and in most cases, they would not know each other.
He said each of them had a specific task.
“The thief and middleman are also paid differently for their roles.
“For example, thieves assigned to steal a Toyota Vellfire would be paid between RM5,000 and RM7,000 per vehicle,” he said.
He said the payments would be made through online transactions.
“This is to make it harder for the authorities to trace them, even if one of them is arrested,” he said.
To prevent car theft, SAC Khairuldin advised vehicle owners to go back to basic by installing extra locking mechanisms, such as a pedal, or brake and steering locks.
“These old fashioned locks would make it longer and harder for them to take away the vehicle,” he said.