Thieves using high-tech wireless device to break into NJ cars

GALLOWAY TWP, N.J. - July 3, 2013

It's happened about 30 times throughout the township, and this isn't a matter of a bandit busting a window. This is high-tech wireless thievery.

The rash of break-ins started last weekend. Police were out warning residents at one apartment complex Wednesday.

A high-end golf resort has also been hit. The general manager at that resort did not want to discuss the 10 cases he's had in the last 48 hours, two on Tuesday night alone.

The target has been quick-sale items like flat screen TVs, GPSs, iPods and cell phones.

But these burglaries are out of the ordinary.

"Generally they are unlocked vehicles. In the last week, we've been seeing all locked vehicles. No damage to the vehicle, no signs of forced entry. However, numerous items stolen out of the car, a lot of valuables people have left in their vehicle," said Detective Sergeant Donna Higbee.

Surveillance video from another city shows keyless thieves breaking into cars. They are using a radio frequency device, widely known as a code grabber, to silently unlock the vehicle and disable the alarm system.

It can be done in roughly 2 or 3 seconds. Police are seeing more and more of these cases from coast to coast.

"These thieves are using some sort of RF [radio frequency] device, which is sending an electronic signal toward the vehicles, unlocking the vehicle and disabling the alarm as well, allowing the thieves to enter the vehicle and remove valuables without being detected," said Detective Ryan Goehringer.

Police continue to inform residents about this burglary outbreak. They have so far not been warned by the complex management.

"When you leave your vehicle, don't leave any pocketbooks, wallets, because that opens up a whole other thing. Items can be replaced, but identify theft becomes a concern," said Higbee.

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