(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Better Vehicle Anti-Theft Systems To Increase Home Invasion Risk?

from the unintended-consequences... dept

Oh, those unintended consequences. It's been said (don't know if there's data to support this) that the rise of carjacking crimes was a direct result of better car alarms and other anti-theft devices like "The Club." However, some are now saying that it's also leading to other types of crime as well. Bruce Schneier points to a report claiming that better vehicle anti-theft systems will result in an increase in home robberies as thieves look to steal the keys to take the car. Of course, there doesn't seem to be any data backing this up, and the story about it is based on (you guessed it) an insurance company -- who obviously has some incentive to make you feel worried. So, until there are actual stories of this becoming common, we'll assume it hasn't crossed many car thieves' minds just yet (while it's likely that this has at least happened more than a few times -- it's just not clear that it's a real epidemic). However, it does highlight how criminals are likely to continually move on to weaker security points as they get blocked out in other areas -- and that it's important to at least consider the consequences of security changes.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 12:11pm

    No Subject Given

    My favorite anti-theft device, from a USENET discussion:

    "One of the most popular solutions in Central/South America is to weld tabs on the brake and clutch pedal, drill holes through the tabs and then place a lock through them. If you are creative and place the tabs correctly, a "trailer tongue" type lock can be utilized and is darned near impossible to cut off " - Tom

    This may or may not be legal in the states.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 12:34pm


    I saw a pretty sweet one on TV (which a friend of mine actually did to a crappy old car he had), you take a normal car alarm, and get a propane tank which you put in the trunk. Then you run a pipe around the lower edge of the car and punch a bunch of little holes in it. You wire it up so if the car alarm goes off it turns on the gas and uses a little sparker to light the whole thing off. It was pretty sweet, and would sure scare any would be car thiefs, but it also went through a can of propane pretty quick and mostly just scorched the car.

    Another friend of mine had this situation sort of reversed. The theif broke into the car in order to steal the garage door opener, which he used to steal 2 bikes from the garage. Of course he obvioulsy wasnt aware that the lock on the door to the garage is broken anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Ron Anon, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 1:05pm

    my fav anti carjacking device

    ...is a large metal blade which is attached to the chassi and loaded with several massive springs. push a button and the blade sweeps out, thus seperating anyone standing infront of it from their legs. its in S. Africa, found it in an old issue of car and driver from a few years back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    ZOMG CENSORED, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 1:10pm

    Robocop Had it Right

    Cook the bastards with an electrical system. There's a security company that makes armoured cars with a high-voltage anti-theft system, I think that's the best option. Then apply it to your house too (And maybe a pirahna filled moat) :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    JT, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 1:28pm

    Vehicle Anti-Theft Devices

    www.stickdeath.com has some real creative ones. So let me guess, the insurance company is going to raise rates on your homeowners insurance if you put in a theft deterent system, to offset for the discount they give out for having one

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    MD, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 2:19pm

    Re: my fav anti carjacking device

    Well this is [u]my[/u] favourite anti-carjacking device... http://www.m1911.org/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Michal, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 2:56pm

    Re: my fav anti carjacking device

    I bet you have the bumbper sticker too.
    Something as inane as "Protected by 1911".

    Basically that says to a criminal, search my car, find a gun. Generally a gun isn't going help, car theives generally steal the car when no one is looking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Howard, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 8:12pm

    Re: my fav anti carjacking device

    I carry my gun with me (I am a state-certified concealed handgun license instructor in Texas), so it's not left in the car. And there is no sign on the car indicating that I am armed. My primary home defense (after a monitored alarm system) is a shotgun, which is far more effective than a handgun. Again, there is no sign on my house indicating the presence of weapons.
    Concealed Handgun License Classes in Plano, Texas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Big Bob, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 9:46pm

    No Subject Given

    .44 cal that is my anti theft system. Works fine for me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Dec 24th, 2005 @ 7:19am

    Creep Trap

    Get an old junky car, rig it with an alarm that
    allows the creep to get inside before going off.
    Have that alarm release volumes of sticky, fast
    setting, rapidly expanding ureathane foam. Hopefully no one will bother trying to chip the foam out, and the creep will not be mashed against the windshield, so there are no uncomfortable questions when its towed to the junk yard. Hey, if it's good enough for protecting nuclear warheads in transport...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Rob, Dec 25th, 2005 @ 8:58am

    Heard it myself

    I'm an avid scanner listener and I have a couple of friends who are cops. I can tell you without a doubt that it is extremely common for crooks to break into a house at night, run in to the kitchen and grab the keys to the BMW etc, and take off with the car. The owner barely has time to wake up from the invasion and rarely does the thief take anything else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    anonymous, Dec 25th, 2005 @ 2:09pm

    The Club is useless

    It takes less than 10 seconds to remove a "Klub" device. Less than 5 seconds in most cases.

    You get robbed once when you pay $60 for the thing and robbed again when the car is stolen anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Bill, Dec 26th, 2005 @ 2:55pm

    Re: my fav anti carjacking device

    I agree with you methods, however, it is nearly impossible to acquire a CCW permit in my hometown of Bakersfield, CA due to the pussy/hypocrit of a D.A. Ed Jagels. I still carry anyway. I am a military trained vet qualified on everything the military asked me shoot. But because I don't sleep with or blow any attorneys or cops in my town I cannot get a CCW permit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    travis dunn, Dec 31st, 2005 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Robocop Had it Right

    just wondering how you would hook something like this system up to a car? Also can you control the voltage that is being sent? If you could get back to me that would be great. thank you

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    bruce, Sep 3rd, 2007 @ 7:54pm


    hey guys,
    i like stealing..
    its funnnnn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Alane Jewel, Jan 1st, 2014 @ 2:11pm

    It works, it prevents theft

    No matter what the haters say, foremost it is a visual deterrent. Why select a car that takes more work to try and dismantle an antitheft lock? Most Clubs are case-hardened metal, making them almost impossible to cut with bolt cutters or a hack saw. Using burglary tools is a felony in most states, so vehicle thieves want to use items that are common to find in someone’s pockets. Most won’t risk carrying a hack saw or bolt cutters with them. The Club LX and SUV Club have laser encrypted locks, which cannot be picked. Most of the other Clubs have double-sided keys. Double-sided keys are like normal keys, except that they have sets of teeth on the top and bottom. Thus, even though they look like normal keys, picking them is much more difficult.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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