Securing Your Car From Theft: Tips and Tricks

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350Z

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[Above: A photograph showing a ripped off music system by thieves]

We all love to modify our beloved rides by installing useful and some not-so-useful accessories like a set of dashing Alloy wheels, Expensive Audio Set-up etc. but this saga only continues as long as everything is doing well and you are unaware of the consequences that it could actually cause by attracting some evil eyes. One can seriously not realize something unless it has never happened with them before. Probably, today I too won’t have written this article if I had not faced a major theft with my car. The same car which is very close to my heart as an automotive enthusiast, just like any of you BUT now I do not wish such horrific incidents to take place with fellow members at The Automotive India, anymore. So, Today I would want to give an alert call, if you have been taking it all easy until now. After all, Sometimes it is better to learn from other’s experiences than having your own. Right?

What is an Automobile Theft?

“Theft” in general is defined as an intentional human act of taking someone’s property unlawfully. Speaking in context to automobiles, the theft is generally performed either by an amateur person to earn his living or by a gang of professional persons that usually belong to the category of mechanics who have been previously thrown out from an automotive workshops for some reason or other. Still, they are familiar and know the inside out of cars. Delhi and Mumbai like Metropolitan cities are mostly packed with the latter lot.

Why Are the Vehicles Stolen?

Almost every day hundreds of theft attempts take place in our country. If you believe that, your car or bike is absolutely secure just because it is locked in the garage and tighten with ropes and chains, then probably it’s the time to rethink. Since gone are those days when the vehicles were completely ripped off. In this modern era, the burglars have rather become clever enough to try their hands directly on the important car parts that provide a quick hard cash without doing much of efforts. Moreover, they are not so easy to trace too. Exterior monograms, Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVM), Wheels, Music System and ECU are the examples to name a few. Especially, the Electronic Control Unit and Music systems are the all-time favourite. What is an ECU? Precisely speaking, it is nothing but the brain of your car. An ECU controls all the electronic mechanism upon which your car is actually working on. A stolen or even kaput ECU is enough to leave you stranded on the road. Most importantly, it does not cost any dearer either. Probably, ECU is one of the most expensive spare parts of any car. You can imagine when one that of a Maruti 800 cost upwards of Rs.15,000, How much that of a Luxury Sedan cost?

There are also many reports when the entire vehicle is stolen. In such case, it is the bikes that are preferred more than the cars because of their ease of access and also the light nature. Once the vehicle is stolen, typically it is driven to some other part of the country and sold off with fake documents and registration number to innocent customers. Otherwise, It could be used to perform criminal activities as well. The whole process involved in this is so quick that your vehicle might have been even taken out of the city even before you can report the police about theft. However, not always, it is true that the stolen car / bike will be sold off; it is also possible that the vehicle is unassembled, and later sold into parts at several different locations.
 
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350Z

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[Above: A theft attempt on a Mahindra Scorpio by breaking the alarm circuit]

How Are the Vehicles Stolen?


There is really no definite way to identify particular methods of robbery. Those wicked minds are working 24x7 to invent newest and cleverest techniques to steal the vehicles. Though, let that not defeat us. Just being cautious is all you need. Some of the most common automobile stealing techniques include breaking the glass, or unlocking the car with the help of screwdriver or slim-jim. In these cases, the hooters and tweeters of the car’s security alarm do not work either, because they are already made defunct by breaking the circuit from one of the indicators. A few other obvious methods are “car-jacking” or stealing / duplicating the keys directly.

How to Protect My Car from Theft?

In market, you will find that a wide range of car security systems are available. Where some are too good to ignore, the others are simply useless to say the least. That is why, it is very important to identify which is genuine and suits perfectly well for yourself. One of the best car security equipments that I have come across yet is the MicroVBB Black Box. This is loaded with facilities like tracking the location of your car and much more. Such equipments sure fall in the heavy price range of Rs.10, 000 to 20,000+. On the other hand, you should not mind spending that much amount which is a lot lesser if compared with the cost of your vehicle, that is parked everyday in open. Also, with a brand new car, you can start off by installing Car Alarm, Steering Lock, Gear lock, and Etching the registration number or vehicle identification number on windows. Another worth considering equipment is the fuel kill-switch. A fuel kill-switch is positioned in a secret location (Known only to you), and it cuts off the direct fuel supply to the engine. Even though your car might be loaded with numerous security devices, but it is worthless if you are not cautious enough from your end. The funda is quite simple, if you invite the thieves they will obviously come. Thus, do not invite them at first place! Please do a little favour to yourself by parking the car only at authorized parkings and not leaving the keys with anyone else. Also, Keep away the precious items inside the car and always make it a habit to detach the face-plate of head unit of the audio system. Infact, storing the original documents in the car is not any good idea either.

What to Do After Auto Theft?

First off, Please do not panic! I know that for any car owner, this will be no less than a worst of the dreams come true. In such situation, the first step should be to immediately contact the Police (Dial 100 in India), and lodge an FIR. Second, contact your insurance firm and report them about the issue along with all necessary information. In case of theft with vehicle parts, leave the car / bike as it is, until cops and agent from the insurance firm arrives to witness the actual scenario. Though, I hope that no one has to ever face such situation, but theft can happen with anyone at anytime. By keeping in mind the tips mentioned in this article, at least you can be assured that, if not the theft-proof, your vehicle is a lot more safer than before. This goes with the adage Prevention is better than cure. For me, that was a lesson learnt for sure and the first add-on in my next car is definitely going to be a security feature. What about yours? [thumbswink]

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[Below: The entire door lock mechanism is broken by burglars]
mahindra-scorpio-theft.jpg

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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great thread. definately useful. i think there are many members with whom theft has happened in our forum already so hope everyone else is cautious!! [sleep]
 
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good topic. rather good way to sum up!

I lost my discover , on feb 14th night of 2005.
it had a alarm system. i forgot to alarm it that night - yeah particularly that night alone - thieves got their lucky stars and i didnt. [frustration][frustration]

Reason - those were the days were full talk time in mobile were given once in a while , and there was some full tt offer. In double mind i didnt alarm the bike , hoping i would come back to make a ride to the mobile store to recharge.

plans changed once i entered home - only to discover that the discover has been stolen the next day!

after some 2 hrs (My discover was at 6.30 am) my neighbour who came down with his bags and lunch to office found his bike too missing!
After a couple of min the next 2 houses too reported of broken lock of their bike - their gate saved them.

The dio of the person who lives below our house was left unlock and was not stolen - how could some one be damn lucky , my bike was parked some 2 feet from the dio
 
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Thanks for sharing the useful info. Couple of months back, there was a series of wheel thefts in my locality. I saw a new Santro's all 4 wheels stolen !! people have to be extra carefull when the vehicle is parked on a road side.
 
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350Z

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ilango[speed thirst];62997 said:
good topic. rather good way to sum up! I lost my discover , on feb 14th night of 2005.
it had a alarm system. i forgot to alarm it that night - yeah particularly that night alone - thieves got their lucky stars and i didnt.

Reason - those were the days were full talk time in mobile were given once in a while , and there was some full tt offer. In double mind i didnt alarm the bike , hoping i would come back to make a ride to the mobile store to recharge.

plans changed once i entered home - only to discover that the discover has been stolen the next day!

after some 2 hrs (My discover was at 6.30 am) my neighbour who came down with his bags and lunch to office found his bike too missing!
After a couple of min the next 2 houses too reported of broken lock of their bike - their gate saved them.

The dio of the person who lives below our house was left unlock and was not stolen - how could some one be damn lucky , my bike was parked some 2 feet from the dio
The bike was lifted in front from the house itself? They must have been a group of burglars targeting only bikes at once of a specific area. Bad to know, but they got their valentine. :biggrin: Did you reported to the police? Though, practically in our country, there’s not much use anyways unless you are a renowned name.

Thanks for sharing the useful info. Couple of months back, there was a series of wheel thefts in my locality. I saw a new Santro's all 4 wheels stolen !! people have to be extra carefull when the vehicle is parked on a road side.
Yeah, that’s one of the most common practices of theft on cars but unfortunately, there is nothing much one could do in such case, other than to avoid parking the vehicle in an open location. Maybe sometimes wheel covers can be of some help too, since they would require relatively more time to unscrew the wheel.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Useful thread 350Z! Remember , there was also a theft attempt on my Verna? So even i am a bit cautious now while choosing a parking place for my car especially at nights!


No theft worries in my locality like Ilango , i have to be careful only outside though!
 
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cool dhaya ! theft do not occur regularly in my area atleast , but mine was gone

@vibhor , the police station was more tragic.
they were keen in questioning me , they applied the ill logical logics , like me selling my bike to give some gift for girl friend. Too much of tamil cinema spoils the police !! i wanted to trash that SI and other police , even now.

Even now i am ready to KILL him for that question . Yep atlast after some 1.5hrs i was unable to be in police station , called one of my uncle who is in police ! and imagine after wards !! everything went in smooth . I tried not to disturb other and finally forced to do so.!!


The insurance was even more worse .
they kept saying discover has no resale value so they are ready to give 25K for 1year and 1 month old bike.
Then why these moron and idiot insure that for a id value of 35K , what is gonna happen to him if he saves 10 by speaking to customer . Top of that he was adament. By this time i was in final year of college. Went with dad , he talked so bad that i blasted him in front of my dad. That was final , dad never called me to insurance office . after 1Years of bike theft i got my insurance of 35K atlast!
Between all the time , my dad kept asking him , he said its in process and this and that . finally after all lame excuse by him got over , idiot gave the cheque , it was dated some 3 months before
Clearly indicate that he tried to cheat something
I think he was expecting bribe from me . NATIONAL INSURANCE , Be proud for your work
 
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great thread 350Z,must read for everyone(especially those living nearby DELHI).
we live in a government area so we don't face these incidents usually but yes you don't stay at your house forever and you often go outside.

I have 1 question : The remote central locking that we have for cars, it works on principle of radio frequency and pass code(correct me if I am wrong). So can somebody have a device (sort of a master key which we usually see in movies(JASON BOURNE) ) which can break the code and hence open the gates of the car?
Moreover can the code in car im-mobilizer be duplicated?
 
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great thread 350Z,must read for everyone(especially those living nearby DELHI).
we live in a government area so we don't face these incidents usually but yes you don't stay at your house forever and you often go outside.

I have 1 question : The remote central locking that we have for cars, it works on principle of radio frequency and pass code(correct me if I am wrong). So can somebody have a device (sort of a master key which we usually see in movies(JASON BOURNE) ) which can break the code and hence open the gates of the car?
Moreover can the code in car im-mobilizer be duplicated?
A big yes .
 
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350Z

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ilango[speed thirst];63303 said:
cool dhaya ! theft do not occur regularly in my area atleast , but mine was gone

@vibhor , the police station was more tragic.
they were keen in questioning me , they applied the ill logical logics , like me selling my bike to give some gift for girl friend. Too much of tamil cinema spoils the police !! i wanted to trash that SI and other police , even now.

Even now i am ready to KILL him for that question . Yep atlast after some 1.5hrs i was unable to be in police station , called one of my uncle who is in police ! and imagine after wards !! everything went in smooth . I tried not to disturb other and finally forced to do so.!!


The insurance was even more worse .
they kept saying discover has no resale value so they are ready to give 25K for 1year and 1 month old bike.
Then why these moron and idiot insure that for a id value of 35K , what is gonna happen to him if he saves 10 by speaking to customer . Top of that he was adament. By this time i was in final year of college. Went with dad , he talked so bad that i blasted him in front of my dad. That was final , dad never called me to insurance office . after 1Years of bike theft i got my insurance of 35K atlast!
Between all the time , my dad kept asking him , he said its in process and this and that . finally after all lame excuse by him got over , idiot gave the cheque , it was dated some 3 months before
Clearly indicate that he tried to cheat something
I think he was expecting bribe from me . NATIONAL INSURANCE , Be proud for your work
That was too bad and ridiculous. But the truth is that the same scenario is across the country, unfortunately. Even in my case also, initially the police blatantly started to blame us for parking in that area, but I thought, what the heck? Hundreds of other cars were also parked in that very parking. Eventually when they realized that not much is going to work out with silly and baseless blames, thereafter the matter was investigated appropriately.

Another Note: Never provide the car key code to anybody. The numeric ‘key code’ comes attached along with the keys of your new car. It is helpful if in case you happen to lose the actual keys of your car.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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....
Moreover can the code in car im-mobilizer be duplicated?
Why do you worry much in hacking Immobilizer buddy?
The culprits are far clever. They carry a spare ECU from similar car, fix it & drive.
Did any one came across such incident?

PS: Modern cars came with a solution for this. Engine ECU, EPS ECU, Combi-switch ECU, ABS/VDC ECU are interlinked. They don't work with a different combination.
 
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