More than 375 car break-ins in Norfolk for June, how to protect yourself

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 23:18:09-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Police said it just takes a few seconds for a thief to get into a car. The month of June saw more than 375 car break-ins.

"If there's an opportunity for something to be stolen, the thieves are going to do it, regardless of how easy it is," said Daniel Hudson with the Norfolk Police Department.

Thieves are peering into your car and checking for unlocked doors to see what they can steal.

"GPS Systems, electronic devices, even cell phones or purses that are left on the seat. We'll leave our doors unlocked, run in really quick and come back out, but complacency gets us."

Complacency is not what got Jarrett Beeler. Since his car was broken into a few weeks ago, he was taking every precaution.

"I was absolutely positive I locked my doors. 100% sure, coupled with the fact I had it happen before, I made extra, extra certain those doors were locked and somehow they got in," said Beeler.

Beeler's car uses a keyless fob entry, which according to a security consultant can be hacked a couple of ways.

"If an attacker blocked your signal, kind of like a jammer, then what would happen is the car wouldn't recognize one code and take another code to unlock it. Then the attacker would replay the first code and unlock the door," said Jim Hartnett.

Another way is to amplify the signal used to unlock your key with keyless entry. Instead of the fob being limited to a few feet to unlock your car, the signal is amplified and an attacker would not have a restricted range from where he can unlock your car.

Rather than being limited to a few feet, an amplified or relayed key fob would not have a range restriction.

Harnett said technology will always be a part of our lives, but it's important to see the weaknesses. To be safe, Harnett echoes Hudson's safety tip: it's best to not leave any valuables in a car.