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3 Myths About How Criminals Open Locked Cars

June 21, 2019


Everyone wants to protect their stuff against theft. Even with the most high tech security features, many cars are stolen each year. Non-criminals often have misconceptions about how criminals steal these cars. Here are three myths about how criminals open locked cars that you no longer have to be worried about.

car theft myths

Myth #1: Criminals Pick Your Locks

Some people believe that criminals get into your car by picking your car’s locks, so choosing a vehicle with keyless entry is a smarter decision. While keyless entry might be more convenient for drivers, there is a lot of misinformation about this claim. First, picking a lock takes a lot of time and expertise. A criminal doesn’t want to be caught spending a lot of time picking a lock. Instead, criminals will use other means to access your car. This includes smashing in your window or using a special tool they’ll slide in between your window and car door to open the locking mechanism. A wire hanger would also work.

Second, remote entry systems have changed how criminals break into locked cars, but not in the way you would think. Sophisticated criminals are now able to use special transmitters to use the remote entry system to get into the vehicle. They no longer have to even worry about manually picking the lock with new technology and tools. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for criminals to pick automotive locks, just that it’s less necessary now.

Myth #2: Criminals Use Mystery Devices You Can Stop with Aluminum Foil

A few years ago, the news media sensationalized the fact that some criminals used remote entry systems as a way to enter locked vehicles by giving different strategies for car owners to prevent theft. This included wrapping your key fobs in aluminum foil, which they said would break the frequency. They also recommended that you keep your keys as far away from your car as you physically could.

Criminals don’t necessarily need to access your key fob at all to break into your locked car. While there is merit in not hanging your keys by the door where a burglar could find them and steal your car, aluminum foil won’t help you prevent auto theft. There are many ways for criminals to break into your car.

Myth #3: Criminals Are the Only Ones Who Break Into Cars

When you see someone trying to get into a locked car, it doesn’t mean that they are trying to steal it. Criminals generally don’t want to have witnesses to their crimes. If you see someone trying to get into their car with a hanger, they could just be locked out of their car.

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