App makers arrested for aiding car theft; stolen car buyers flee

India: Noida police busted an interstate gang selling cars from Delhi-NCR and selling them in Kashmir and Meerut at cheap prices today. The police arrested six members of the gang of vehicle thieves from Pir Kat in front of Suman Bajaj Agency located in Sector 62, Noida. By unlocking the car through an app, this gang stole more than a hundred cars from Noida-NCR.

Police have recovered 13 stolen cars from Delhi-NCR on the spot from the thieves.

DCP Noida Rajesh S said that, based on inputs received from an informer, the police team was tracking down the thieves for the past month. This gang has been active for the last few years.

The gang of thieves has stolen more than 100 cars and supplied them in Kashmir and Meerut. The thieves supplied more than 12 Maruti-Suzuki Brezza cars alone in Kashmir.

After the theft, the gang would change the car’s engine and chassis number and fake documents and sell the vehicle in Kashmir for Rs 2 lakh – Rs 4 lakh per unit. They sell stolen cars on a large scale in Meerut as well.

DCP Noida Rajesh S said that the gang developed an application (app) with special software to steal cars. After reconnaissance, the app connects to the car via Bluetooth first. Then, the app unlocks the car through and helps the thieves steal it in 5-10 minutes.

The arrested accused Manoj Nehra and Afzal are experts in car theft, the police said. Two of the accused — Adil and Ayub — who bought the stolen vehicles from them, are absconding, which the police are looking for. There are about a dozen cases against them.

Many an evil app inspired by car thieves in the US

Sources told Sirf News antisocial elements are getting more dangerous ideas as they are turning more to technology to execute their plans. There was an app that allowed car owners to rent out their vehicles to make a few dollars also inform thieves about the cars that would be easy to steal in the US, the sources said.

Car thieves in India, the sources added, are developing an app that would work like GetAround, the infamous American app. The renter would then use the app to find where cars are available. The app can unlock car doors as well.

The Secure List website says that by using a proprietary mobile app, it is possible to get the GPS coordinates of a car, trace its route, open its doors, start its engine, and turn on its auxiliary devices. “On the one hand, these are absolutely useful features used by millions of people, but on the other hand, if a car thief were to gain access to the mobile device that belongs to a victim that has the app installed, then would car theft not become a mere trifle?” the website asks.