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1. TRACKING SYSTEMS - Although they sound good on paper, these costly systems are not very effective. They come into play only after the vehicle has been stolen, as reported by the Boston Police Department, the city in which the idea originated. By the time the victim reports their vehicle stolen, (which is usually the next day) it has already been stripped and dumped. If the owner of the stolen vehicle is lucky, the thief will not have found and removed the tracking transponder while stripping the vehicle and the tracking system will lead the police to the abandoned shell of the vehicle. Nowadays though, the thieves are using sophisticated debugging equipment to find, remove and discard the tracking transponder. Sadly, law enforcement officers continue to track the signal thinking it is coming from the stolen vehicle when actually it leads them to a trash dumpster in a back alley somewhere! These systems are not available in all areas, and they are not very practical in big cities. Furthermore, they are expensive ($895 and up) and some even require a monthly monitoring fee. Many people in the security industry refer to these systems as "after the fact jack." General Motors offers a system called "OnStar" these systems are also easily defeated by the thief breaking the antenna off of the roof of the vehicle. To make matters even worse as soon as they steal your vehicle they plug in a GPS Scrambler (aka: signal destroyer) to negate any signal coming to or going from your vehicle, thus making the thief and your vehicle invisible. NO SECURITY WHAT SO EVER! 

2. FACTORY TRANSPONDER KEY SYSTEMS - This anti theft system is factory installed on almost every new vehicle manufactured today. Most every manufacturer, whether domestic or foreign uses this type system. Embedded in the head of the vehicle’s ignition key is a miniature RFID Transponder Chip which contains one of a trillion possible electronic codes. When the key is inserted into the vehicle’s ignition, the transponder sends a signal to a disc shaped antenna surrounding the key cylinder housing behind the shroud on the steering column. The antenna then relays a signal to the control module and if the signal is correctly recognized, the vehicle is allowed to start. If access is attempted without the correct code, critical systems (ignition, starter) remain inoperable. This all sounds good on paper but all this system does is keep honest people honest, because it is very easy to bypass. The thieves are now using laptop computers with recorded RF codes to bypass them in about 20 seconds, which is probably why the factory installs these systems for free. Sadly, many car dealers tell their customers that because of this special transponder chip in their key . . . they do not need any extra security for their vehicle, but this is NOT TRUE!   READ MORE

3. ALARM SYSTEMS - These systems have just about run their course. The auto manufacturers do not even offer alarm systems any longer. Too many problems and they are totally ineffective in deterring auto theft. Who hasn't heard and ignored an alarm? To make matters worse, a "code grabber - scanner box" that will open up the vehicle’s doors and disable any alarm system can be purchased for less than $100 on the Internet. Even the more expensive systems that claim to have Anti-Scan or Code Grabbing Technology can still be defeated, as demonstrated on this CBS NEWS VIDEO. Just ask anyone who has or has had an alarm if they would ever get another one . . . THEIR ANSWER WILL BE A DEFINITE NO!

4. REMOTE STARTERS - These devices may be real convenient by starting your car and warming it up in the winter and cooling it off in the summer, but please do not think these systems are secure. Once again, there is absolutely no security at all with these devices. They can all be started regardless of make with a "Code Grabber" in seconds. READ MORE

5. IMMOBILIZER TYPE DEVICES - The Immobilizer name is used by many different anti theft device companies around the world. Many foreign car companies install this system as standard equipment on their vehicles. This system consists of a resistor or tiny radio transmitter imbedded in the ignition key and sends a signal to a receiver in the steering column, much like the GM, FORD and CHRYSLER systems just discussed in paragraph 3. A variation of this system involves the use of a plug, rather than an imbedded chip in the ignition key, but all are connected under the dash and all are very easy to locate and bypass. The wires used for these systems do not have any armor cable or security covering to protect or conceal them, making it easy for a thief to locate the wires, reconnect them, and steal the vehicle in a matter of seconds. Some of these systems claim to interrupt as many as 4 different circuits, but it does not matter how many circuits you interrupt . . . if you can easily reconnect them under the dash. Don’t be fooled by false claims that these companies make. Many vehicles have been stolen that were equipped with this device!

6. TOUCH SENSORS - These devices hook up to the starter wire under the dash. An existing part of the vehicle, such as the cruise control button, the high beam lever, the wiper switch or even a radio knob, becomes the trigger for this device. The driver has to touch this "secret switch" in order to start the vehicle. These devices all work in conjunction with relays that continuously burn up due to the high amperage from the starter wire to which they are connected. Most of them even have a toggle switch, that allows a person to override the system. Car thieves are not at all deterred by these devices.

7. FLAT PLUG DEVICES - Most of these systems are all but gone. This type device is mounted below the dash. The connections are very simple to make and only go to each end of the starter wire right beneath the dash. Some of the more sophisticated models include a red flashing light . . . which has nothing at all to do with the device's ability to deter theft. It is merely a red light that either blinks or burns continuously. Car thieves can overcome these devices in seconds by inserting a penny in the face of the unit. Some thieves used an "old fashioned" hat pin simply by sticking it through one wire and into the other. These devices had a maximum of six different combinations and most car dealers use the same combination on every vehicle they sell. These systems are cheap, which enables some car dealers to install them on every vehicle in stock and then try to sell these units along with the sale of the vehicle, of course bumping up the price. If a customer should balk and does not want to pay extra money for the flat plug device, the car dealer simply inserts a chip that will override the system. Car dealers also know that these systems often result in problems . . . and customer complaints. There have been dozens of companies that manufacture flat plug devices, most of them have gone out of business already and the remaining few have just about run their course.  

8. THE CLUB - Widely advertised, this device is probably the best known anti theft product on the market today. But as demonstrated on CBS' American Journal, a car thief using a hacksaw can cut through the vehicle's steering wheel and remove The Club in just 22 seconds! The program also demonstrated how a thief can spray "freon" into the locking mechanism of The Club, hit the now - frozen lock with a hammer, and shatter it like glass, enabling him to remove The Club. In addition, there is a device called the Club Buster, which will break The Club and AutoLock devices in 60 seconds. The Club Buster is intended for locksmiths, tow truck operators, and auto repossession professionals, but any thief can buy it over the internet right now for $89.

9. REMOTE STARTER KILLS - Many Car Dealers sell and promote this type of device because it is very easy to install and the dealer can charge up to $499 for it. The customer will never know the difference and will think that they are getting top security for their dollar. This device comes with a remote control and a special re-worked starter relay that replaces the factory starter relay in your vehicle's power distribution box. The power distribution box is very easy to access directly under the hood of the vehicle, all you have to do is to lift the cover of the box pull out the relay, replace it with any factory relay (cost $2) and drive the vehicle off. Again, the remote control on this device can be scanned and bypassed with a scanner box very easily in seconds.

10. LAPTOPS - RF TAG SECURITY (SMART KEY) - This system works with a RF Frequency transmitter that automatically sends a signal to a relay (starter, fuel pump, etc.) that replaces a factory relay in the power distribution box or fuse relay box in the engine compartment of the vehicle enabling it to work. The key or transmitter can be in the form of a key or a small round plastic cylinder that attaches to your key chain. When the driver is in the range of a vehicle fitted with this system the circuits will operate. Thieves know about this device and easily replace the special relay with a $2 factory one to defeat this system.  READ MORE

11. KEYPAD SYSTEMS - These systems connect to the starter wire under the dash. They can be defeated in seconds by locating the "brain box" of the keypad (which usually is wire-tied or taped to the steering column under the dash) and then touching the two contacts with a jumper wire.

12. STEERING COLUMN COLLARS - Now nearly obsolete, these devices are worthless in terms of theft protection. All a thief has to do is reach below the dash; pry the ignition switch off the topside of the steering column post, exposing a rod; and pull the rod upward, allowing the vehicle to start.

13.) BRAKE PEDAL LOCKS - We witnessed one of these pedal locks compromised very easily at a crime prevention seminar. This pedal lock is designed to go in between the brake pedal and the floor board of the vehicle making it impossible to apply the brake. Hence, a thief would not steal the vehicle if he could not stop it. The demonstration showed a "would be thief" hitting the side of the pedal lock just below the brake with a small sledgehammer denting the floorboard until it slipped to the side and was removed.  NOT VERY EFFECTIVE.   

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