Luxury cars’ anti-theft devices prove no match for skilled car thieves

09 Oct 2019 / 16:44 H.

SHAH ALAM: High-tech anti-theft systems installed in luxury vehicles appear to be no match for skilled car thieves who are making off with vehicles equipped with sophisticated gadgetry.

In Selangor, 80 luxury cars specifically MPVs and SUVs of a premier Japanese (Toyota) brand were reported stolen since January, prompting state police to intensify operations against car theft syndicates.

The rise in such thefts was due to the demand for the cars especially by syndicates overseas.

Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Noor Azam Jamaludin said today that three car theft syndicates were busted by the state CID this year, along with the recovery of 12 cars.

He said in the latest operation, codenamed ‘Ops Lejang Mewah Toda’, eight suspects comprising six men and two foreign women, aged between 36 and 52, were arrested last month.

Noor Azam said police recovered nine vehicles (eight Toyota models and a Honda CRV) worth a total of RM2 million.

He said apart from hand tools commonly used by car thieves, detectives also seized a ‘smartkey programmer’ unit, a signal jammer, three master keys and 29 remote control keys.

Noor Azam also explained how the thieves used these sophisticated devices to disarm a car alarm and its security systems.

“We learnt that after a car thief targets a luxury car, he would first use a master key or a cordless drill to bore the keyhole in order to open a car door. The smartkey programmer is then plugged into the vehicle’s ‘computer box’ (electronic control unit or ECU) to obtain a copy of the vehicle’s security programme. This is then copied to a blank remote control key which is then used to start the car. This is how simple it is for these crooks.

“These gadgets can be purchased online especially in the Dark Web. We believe the stolen cars are shipped out of Malaysia as there is a demand for these vehicles in certain countries overseas.” he said at a press conference at the Selangor police headquarters here.

Noor Azam added that police also recovered 25 fake road tax licences and equipment to produce it.

Selangor police released two videos that showed a suspect in its custody demonstrating how he pulled off the vehicle thefts with the high-tech equipment.

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