As I suspected, yesterday's forward about car stealing through VIN numbers wasn't exactly the most accurate.....
While this article validates that the VIN scheme has been successfully used, it also demonstrates why the scheme doesn't necessarily pose a threat to the average car owner. Using VINs to steal cars isn't nearly as easy as the warning quoted above makes it sound: the thieves have to case the cars they want to steal, record VINs, make trips to auto dealerships, present some form of registration or proof of title, wait for the dealers to contact the manufacturers and make up duplicate keys, then return to wherever they found the cars in the first place and use the duplicate keys to steal them.
But this is antithetical to the way car thieves generally work — they're creatures of opportunity who steal cars as they find them, quickly and anonymously. They don't want to have to go around recording VINs, forging documents, calling attention to themselves and risking exposure by showing their faces at auto dealerships, waiting around for keys to be made, and hoping the cased cars are still where they found them when they finally return with their duplicate keys.
Car thieves have plenty of other methods for stealing automobiles at their disposal, and most of them will gladly accept the slight damage those methods might cause to cars during the course of their thefts (especially if, as claimed above, the merchandise is destined for a "chop shop") than have to go through the delay and risks entailed by the rigamarole described above.
3 years ago