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It seems as though vehicle technology is advancing every day, and that means car thieves need to keep up. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), some are. Taking advantage of keyless entry common on most late model cars, a “smart box” technology has been developed.
Based on the unscientific poll, 74 percent said they believe these so-called mystery devices, which some call “smart boxes,” can be used to unlock a vehicle, while 26 percent said they don’t believe these devices work. In addition, 36 percent said they believe the devices can also be used to start and steal a vehicle, although so far, NICB has not confirmed a single reported vehicle theft in the U.S. from this kind of technique.
Only 8 percent said they had actually witnessed a device breaking into or starting a car.
“It was just over a year ago the NICB was the first to warn about the threat of these mystery devices,” said NICB Chief Operating Officer Jim Schweitzer, who conducted the poll. “Last year this was barely a blip on the radar of law enforcement and theft investigators. Now it’s getting everyone’s attention, including the manufacturers who are the front line of defense against these devices.”
The best way to prevent a loss is to follow common sense steps: Lock your doors, Keep your vehicle tidy, Conceal all thief magnets, Stash valuables before — not after — you park, Completely close windows and sunroofs, Get an alarm and/or a tracking system, and Park for visibility.
So, are smart boxes something to worry about? Maybe, maybe not. But it is a reminder that even locked vehicles are often not safe. Be sure to check with your insurance professional to make sure you have the coverage you need should something happen with your vehicle.