High-Tech Thieves Steal High-End Cars, Use Them in Street Crimes

Thieves are stealing cars from a northwest D.C. neighborhood and using them to commit other crimes.

Ruff Fant has lived in the District for more than 50 years and never had his car stolen until a few months ago. Since then, he’s been targeted three times.

The thieves appear to be using a high-tech device to start certain cars, and they have targeted high-end imported cars.

“It’s like leaving your key in the car all the time,” Fant said. “It’s impossible to secure your motor vehicle.”

His neighbors in Spring Valley have had their cars stolen as well.

“Every morning you look out the window and wonder if your car is still there,” a neighbor said.

The thieves seem to have a device that acts like the car’s key fob and unlocks and starts it.


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In one case, surveillance video shows thieves rolling one car out of the way of the one they are able to start.

Fant said detectives told him his car was used in at least one armed robbery.

“The detectives also said that five vehicles had been stolen that night in my neighborhood, and they were used in street crimes, meaning they would rob someone at knife point,” Fant said.

NBC News reported crooks are able to hack into some cars and clone key fobs.

“I have purchased … a tracker and I have purchased … a club, which is a bar you put through the steering wheel,” Fant said. “That’s all I can do.”

So far this year, 790 cars have been stolen in the District. By ward, car thefts are up in half of the city and down in the other half. Ward 7 has the most stolen cars this year. Ward 3 has the fewest.

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