North and South Amercia

News from USA, Canada, Central and South America

California law loophole leads to car theft crisis that leaves tourists in the crosshairs

Car thefts have become a part of life for out-of-state tourists in California because of a loophole in state law that leaves many break-ins unpunished. Law enforcement is stymied by a state law that says it only counts as a felony burglary if the car doors were locked, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. “It’s ridiculous that under current law you can have a video of someone bashing out a car window, but if you…

‘A switcheroo with the keys’: B.C. man warns about emerging trend in car theft

A Surrey, B.C. father is warning private vehicle sellers about a trick he suspects two would-be buyers used, after he discovered his car had been stolen hours after a test drive. Kyle Pruden listed his 2005 Chevy Cobalt for sale on Craigslist in early December, hoping to raise some extra cash to give his seven-year-old son Marcus, who lives with autism and a bone condition, a great Christmas. “My son is having surgery in early January…

From car keys to perfectly keyless. Over 100 years of Bosch car locking technology

Did the first motor carriages actually have locks? How did motorists in the last century prevent their vehicles from being stolen? It’s a long story. It tells of how theft protection first became necessary when people who were previously unfamiliar with cars learned how to start them in the first place. It also illustrates that people could only safely leave their valuables in the car when it had lockable doors, windows, and a roof. Even…

Lock Your Shops: Authorities uncover $1.6m car theft ring in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton, Ontario — Four people have been charged after police busted an alleged $1.6-million car theft ring spanning southern Ontario and exporting high-end vehicles out of the country. Local police began the investigation⁠—dubbed ‘Project Seagull’—in August 2019 after they became aware of the thefts. The ring, which operated out of Hamilton, Ont., targeted mainly rental cars, according to…

Why thieves love the older models of Ford pickup trucks

Ford trucks once again topped the list of most-stolen vehicles in Canada, according to the latest report from Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). But the thieves don’t want the new models: it turns out that nine of the 10 most stolen vehicles are all pre-2007 model years. So what’s the interest in stealing the old models? They don’t have electronic vehicle immobilizers, which prevent hot-wiring, IBC national director of…

HPD: More than 2,000 guns stolen out of cars in the last 10 months

HOUSTON — Houston police said they are seeing a rise in the number of guns stolen from cars. Sergeant Tracy Hicks from the HPD Auto Theft Crimes Task Force said more than 2,000 guns have been stolen from cars in the city in the last 10 months. He said that is an increase of 21 percent since last year. "It's not a good guy stealing your gun. It's a bad guy using it for who knows what," said Sgt. Hicks. "What is my gun being used…

Tarzana man gets 9 years in prison for scam involving high-end cars

SAN FERNANDO — A Tarzana man involved in a scheme centered in the San Fernando Valley that targeted buyers of luxury cars including Bentleys and Maseratis was sentenced Friday to nine years in state prison. Arman Mave Hazarian, also known as Dean Hazarian, pleaded no contest in October to three felony counts of grand theft auto and one felony count of grand theft. The 48-year-old man also admitted he had taken property valued at more…

NICB’s Hot Wheels: America’s 10 Most Stolen Vehicles (2018 Data)

DES PLAINES, Ill., Nov. 19, 2019  — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its annual Hot Wheels report, which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2018. According to the FBI, in 2018, a total of…

Thatcham releases latest results of motion sensors in key fobs that block relay attacks

Car makers have finally begun to fight back against the epidemic of keyless car crime, new tests have revealed. Six of the latest models from major manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford and VW received the highest security rating available in a new round of assessments that scrutinises how well vehicles stand-up against 'relay' thefts. It found that many of the latest cars with keyless entry and keyless start systems now have motion…

Curbing Car Crimes: How a 100-Year-Old Car Theft Law Led to the Modern FBI

On August 12, 1908, the first Model T rolled off the assembly line at Henry Ford’s plant on Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The arrival of the Model T, a mechanical marvel of its time, ushered in a new era of reliable, affordable transportation and travel for the American people. It also launched a new wave of crime. In these early days, cars were easy to steal. Few had built-in locks. Ignitions were primitive and easy to hotwire.…