Thieves possibly using new technology in car break-ins



Orange City police are asking the public's help in finding a group of thieves breaking into parked cars using a new high-tech gadget.

Police said the break-ins happened in broad daylight in crowded parking lots outside of LA Fitness and Publix Super Market, both at the intersection of Enterprise Road and Saxon Boulevard.

Stephanie Wilson said she locked her car and was gone for less an hour only to return to find it had been broken into.

"I had placed my purse as far as I could underneath the seat and I placed a towel over it," she said. "Everything I have that I need every day for each of my kids was in that purse and it was gone."

Investigators said there were no broken windows or picked locks.

Police said it's possible the thieves are using a new technology that deflects the signal from keyless devices.  

A vehicle owner's remote keyless entry device sends a signal to the car to lock it. Experts believe the thieves may have created the technology to block that signal so your car doesn't lock.

It's an issue that has been popping up across the country, including Chicago and California.

"Is it a possibility? Absolutely, because there's no indication of forced entry," said Orange City police Cmdr. Jason Sampsell. "We're not seeing the broken windows. Some of the victims are adamant, 'I locked my doors.'"

 "It wasn't broken into. It was locked," Wilson said of her vehicle.

Police said the best thing drivers can do is to lock their vehicle manually with the key and to not leave anything valuable inside their vehicles.