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Summary:

I have been warned by the local authorities that with the holiday season there are a lot of reports of laptops and gear bags being stolen from the trunks of cars.  This has always been a problem but I’m told it’s getting much worse with the […]

bandits_cartoon_2073562I have been warned by the local authorities that with the holiday season there are a lot of reports of laptops and gear bags being stolen from the trunks of cars.  This has always been a problem but I’m told it’s getting much worse with the holiday season getting thieves anxious to get their hands on your gear.  The rash of thefts are occuring during the lunch hour at popular restaurants.  The innovative thieves are using electronic trunk openers they can get on the Internet and they walk around the parking lot popping the opener until something opens.  A lot of professionals leave their briefcases and gear bags in the trunk of the car and these bad guys are getting them by simply pushing a button.  Authorities are strongly encouraging us to not leave our gear in the car- take it in with you to keep it safe.  That’s our public service announcement for the day.

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  1. Huh. Whodda thunk? I always just toss my notebook in my truck bed and it’s never been a problem.

  2. Think twice about that. We’ve warned about this in years past and we’re told it’s really ramping up again. I’ve heard directly in the past from a number of people who have had this very thing happen to them. Nothing worse than going in for a good meal and coming out to find your laptop (and everything on it) gone.

  3. Julian M Bucknall Thursday, December 11, 2008

    This sounds like an old April Fool’s joke, or even a multi-forwarded nonsense email. Certainly the only reference I can find to such a thing is an old post from jkOnTheRun from 2005 which reads virtually the same as this one.

    Also:
    http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/lockcode.asp

    Cheers, Julian

  4. A few years back I remember hearing thieves cruising Disney parking lots and scanning for Bluetooth which many laptops broadcast while sleeping. Though I think the trunks were popped the old fashioned way. And I don’t remember the source, so it could be a myth.

    But Julia, check out this article. Food for thought:
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/carkey_pr.html

  5. Julian, I don’t know what to tell you. I was warned about this by a Houston Police Officer today.

  6. I find it interesting that by having a cheap dodge neon without a fancy electronic trunk lock is safer.

  7. This is another reason to have your computer in a jacket pocket.

    I once went to an event at a federal court house. They insisted that everyone check even their cellphones, and they didn’t even give receipts. Some people went to put their stuff in car trunks, but I figured that thieves would know people would be doing so and the parking lot would be a particular risk. I decided to blow off the event since there was no way I was checking my Motion LS800 without even getting a receipt (or even with a receipt for that matter).

  8. Hurray for my 97 Civic — no electronic windows, no electronic locks.

    ‘Course, they could just break the windows… :(

  9. Heh heh. For those who live outside of the States: Get your “Loot out of the Boot”.

  10. FYI – the only lock a real thief won’t open is a lock they don’t want to!!!

    My car also has a remote trunk opener, but it still keeps the physical lock which overrides the remote when locked with a key. Likewise, my car has a grey valet key that fits in the ignition, but won’t go into the glovebox lock, center console or trunk. Stuff you might want to look for when buying your next car…

    But there are two things that really stand out here:

    1.) If you’re going somewhere where you KNOW you can’t take your notebook, why the hell are you bringing it along???

    2.) And if you still haven’t figured it out yet, installing bios tracking software like LoJack, permanent tamper-proof security tags like StopTheft, using a heavy-duty cable lock to physically secure the unit to a part of the vehicle, using fingerprint log-on, encrypting your hard drive and using a strong bios password will, together, all do a damn good job of deterring a thief from taking your notebook or loosing your precious data.

    Take it even further, and you can remove the manufacturer identification labels found on the bottom, blank out the screw heads and do a custom paint job that is unique and easily recognizable.

    If after all of that, you still end up loosing your precious device, you are either extremely unlucky or extremely stupid.

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