Two people I know have had cars stolen recently, and I have a few questions about the possible methods used. Both were late-model, and just disappeared, with no noise or destruction apparent. Apparently both were entered and driven away.
A few details:
The first was stolen from the driveway, less than a week after purchased (brand new from dealer). Owners said both sets of keys were inside the house. I believe this was a push-button start (the kind where key isn’t inserted, just inside the car). They awoke, went outside and discovered the car gone – completely unaware it had been taken.
The second was stolen while the owner was at a marina (and on the lake). According to him, the thieves used his well-hidden spare key to open it and drive away. He claims it was a very secure hiding place, very unlikely to be found.
My questions (here instead of GQ since it might be necessary to speculate a bit):
Can a dealer employee reproduce a vehicle key, with only the sale information? I realize it’s possible to somehow get another key, but assumed it was an involved process with an audit trail. In the first case the police expressed interest in the dealer, and were going to start there.
Does a device exist which would allow a thief to pinpoint the location of a hidden transponder key? Just something that could “ping” the key and locate it? Or is something more sophisticated in use? Is there equipment which can read the key and mimic it somehow? Or does my friend over-estimate his key hiding skills?
Does some type of sophisticated equipment exist which can actually puzzle out the hand-shaking between car and key, and allow theft by starting and driving away?