Bold thief uses high-tech methods to break into locked cars in Northeast Philly

Key fobs have made getting into cars much easier, but, of course, criminals have found a way to use fobs against consumers. Police say crooks are actually getting into cars even when the key fobs are in the home.

Police say a brazen thief, caught on Ring camera, is seen stealthily canvassing people’s driveways in Northeast Philadelphia in the middle of the night, quickly and quietly breaking into cars. Jenna Hinkle’s husband is one of several victims.

“The center console was obviously gone through. The glove box was open,” Hinkle said. “Ya know, we have two small children, so my first thought is they were near our home on our property. We just felt violated.”


The suspect approaches another vehicle on Ernie Davis Circle and one can see the victim’s car lights flash. A Philadelphia police source says that’s the moment the thief unlocks the doors. The source says the thief is using a tool that connects to a driver’s key fob and amplifies its signal, unlocking the door from several yards away.

This can happen when a key fob is left near the front door or front windows of your home.

In the video, the thief can be seen locking the car when he’s finished.

“He touched every car that was in frame of that video,” Hinkle stated. “Our windows were open. It was a beautiful night and our dog didn’t even bark. He was very quiet.”

Making it that much more creepy. AAA says high-tech thieves are popping up all over the country. Experts say people can protect themselves by putting keys in a metal container or even wrapping them in foil to block the signal and store key fobs away from the vehicle.

“It’s kind of a shame what this area has become and you just can’t even feel safe at your own home,” Hinkle added.


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