North and South Amercia

News from USA, Canada, Central and South America

Hackers under the hood

New vehicles are packed with so much ICT that they are effectively ’data centres on wheels. They run millions of lines of onboard software: from advance driver assistance systems and engine sensors, to satnav and infotainment. Connected cars also process large volumes of incoming-outgoing data that flows through computerised componentry to ensure they arrive safely and efficiently at journey’s end. Such ‘smart’…

Internal HPD memo shows auto theft crimes increased 20% in January

HOUSTON – An internal Houston Police Department memo highlighting points from a monthly crime report shows auto theft crimes went up in the city in the first month of the year, some by dramatic rates. According to the memo, which was obtained by KPRC 2 and written by Commander Dana Hitzman of the auto theft division, all auto theft crimes increased by “approximately 20%.” Houston police characterize the numbers in the…

Over 100 recent catalytic converter thefts puts sheriff’s office in high gear

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (02/13/2020) - Thieves are targeting parking lots across Genesee County. They're not looking for what's inside in this case. Instead, they're looking for what's underneath vehicles, which can cost drivers thousands of dollars. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said the thieves are after metals inside of catalytic converters. Vehicles in parking lots, storage units and dealerships have been…

2 arrested for fraud, possibly in connection with northeast car theft ring

WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) - Two men are accused of trying to fraudulently buy a car from a dealership in Watertown and could be connected to a northeast car theft ring. Police identified the suspects as Willie Samuel Baldayaquez of New Haven and Ruben Martinez of Wethersfield. Officers were called to Honda of Watertown on Feb. 7 around 4 p.m. for a fraudulent purchase of a vehicle. They found the suspects as they were trying to leave in an…

Cops recover stolen cars, seek more victims in multi-state crime spree based in N.J.

Police on Thursday said investigators recovered five stolen cars, drugs, guns and arrested two men in a string of crimes spanning New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Leon Lowery, 42, of North Brunswick, and Ishawn Redd, 39, of West Orange, face several felony charges, the New Jersey State Police announced. The arrests came as part of a six-month investigation dubbed “Operation Hellcat,” where detectives probed a string of commercial…

Many DC Victims of Car Theft Use Same Carsharing App, AG Warns

A large number of people who had their car stolen in the District of Columbia this year turned out to be using the carsharing app Getaround to make extra money by renting their personal vehicles, Attorney General Karl Racine warned residents in a statement. Since the start of 2020, more than 200 auto thefts have been reported to authorities in D.C. And over 75 of the victims were Getaround users, according to Racine. In a consumer alert the…

Hertz employee charged with grand theft auto for illegal rental scheme

He was supposed to be working for a rental car company at the airport. Instead, he was ripping the company off and giving his friends a cheap ride, according to police, who put the brakes on his scheme. Donald Poole officially worked for Hertz Rental Car, but he was apparently running his own, illegal side business that landed him in jail, charged with grand theft auto. “This was just a dirty employee that became the target of our…

New Mexico Chop Shop Bill a Top NICB Priority

New Mexico’s auto theft problem is well-known. Since 2016, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has ranked, per capita, number one on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual Hot Spots vehicle theft report. And according to FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, New Mexico’s 2018 auto theft rate per capita is around double that of Arizona and Texas, the two states that border both New Mexico and…

How to prevent car break-ins: Turn off your Bluetooth

Those apps that scan for devices using Bluetooth could sound great. The AirPods have fallen out of the ear and they're somewhere in the house. Whip open the app to find them. Or that lost phone, missing tablet or even camera. All good, right?   But you're not the only one using them – and that's not good. "A new phenomenon has made its way to car theft," the Folsom California Police Department noted on…

Five arrested in multi-state car theft ring in Madison; dozens of fake credit cards found

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Five people have been arrested in a multi-state car theft ring. Officers conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 55 on Tuesday, January 21. The officer noticed that the tag appeared to be switched on the truck and later confirmed that it was stolen from Carmel, Indiana. While investigating, the officer found an embossing machine that was being used to make fake credit cards. The cards were imprinted with names and…