In Everett, Washington, Jasmine Vandelac awakened one morning to discover that someone had ransacked the Honda Odyssey minivan ; and Toyota Tacoma truck parked in her driveway and made off with her husband’s electric guitar. Vandelac has security cameras mounted around her home ; but when she watched the video from around 2 a.m she was puzzled.
“It was a group of four men who came down the driveway at the same time,” she recalls. “Each went to a different side of the vehicles ; Then one man took something out of his pocket — it looked to be about the size of a cell phone — and aimed it at the cars. Then instantly, the lights went on and all four doors opened.”
Vandelac is sure that both vehicles were locked. Nevertheless, the thieves apparently were able to open the vehicles’ keyless-entry systems as readily as if they’d been using the smart keys that she says were inside her home.
The still-unsolved theft is just one of numerous reports over the past year, in locales ranging from Sausalito, California, and Yukon, Oklahoma, to Saginaw County ; Michigan. Criminals are gaining entry to parked cars ; apparently by tricking their keyless-entry systems into unlocking the doors.