Police warn of new car break-in scheme - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Police warn of new car break-in scheme

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Imagine if thieves could get inside your car without leaving a trace. Saturday night, Metro Police said there were six car burglaries in the same downtown parking garage.

Some were near the valet service. Some were far away.

And one thing that was really strange: Most of the owners were adamant they locked their cars, yet there were no signs of forced entry.

"It kind of raised an eyebrow to us about how these vehicles were being burglarized," said Commander Jason Reinbold with the central precinct.

Investigators now think the crooks may have been using a strange tool.

At hardware stores, they can be bought for about $20. They're made as wireless doorbell signalers.

But on the street, they're known as "jammers," and they stop your keyless remote from doing its job.

Here's how it works: the car owner hits the lock button on the key chain as they walk away. The prospective thief hits his button at the same time. That somehow prevents the owner's key chain from talking to the car, leaving the car unlocked and the perfect target for that sneaky thief.

The chances of the car owner or the valet knowing are slim unless they happen to notice that the car doesn't blink or beep as they leave.

Police are now working to educate drivers: Locking doors and hiding valuables no longer cut it.

"We want you to manually lock your door from the lock button on the door itself. The second part of that is be aware of your surroundings. Look, and if you see somebody that is nearby and is watching you park and appear to be suspicious in doing that, call the police," said Reinbold.  

Reinbold is also working to warn his own officers who haven't seen these types of break-ins until now.

"We now want to ask those very particular questions, not only did you lock your vehicle but how you locked your vehicle," said Reinbold.  

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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