Sebastien, a 48-year-old shopkeeper from the Villa Urquiza area, decided a few weeks ago to go for a Saturday walk with his wife in a popular shopping area in the northern suburbs. The plan was to spend the afternoon hanging out, looking out the window. They left the house at 4:00 p.m., locked the door and left. Inside, her two teenage children were asleep. Then they arrived at the mall parking lot. They got out of the car and settled into normalcy. Three hours later, Sebastian and his wife would be back at Villa Urchiza, holding their baby and shaking with fear, trying to figure out how a group of burglars had entered his home, using the same key he had locked when he left.
Incredibly, the ordeal begins when they pull up to the mall.
An organized gang of five Argentinian and Colombian criminals is accused of carrying out the attack. It's spread out over two cars in the parking lot. They saw Sebastian and his wife arrive. They marked them. One of them has a signal jammers. As Sebastien and his wife left, they activated the central lock of the car door, which triggered the alarm. They never lock their cars. The buzzer never sounded. Most people don't pay attention to that last detail. The truth is, the thieves used the gadget to jam the alarm signal, leaving the car unlocked and at their mercy.
A member of the group began to follow them inside the store. The other person can enter the car as if it were their own without forcing the door to lock. He went through the papers and found Sebastian's address. He also found the key. Three of them went to the address and entered armed. They beat up the boy sleeping inside. Neighbors who saw them coming in called the police. When they arrived, a gun battle broke out. The criminal has been caught.
The story was excerpted from a court document. It happened last year. Y gives an example of a growing crime pattern: the theft of vehicles using signal suppressors.
While Sebastian's case was the product of an organized and coordinated gang operation, the theft of personal belongings left in cars also began to develop, with only one or two thieves operating.
It's always the same way: the criminal gets distracted, activates the device and interrupts the signal from the siren remote to the car. The owner thought he had locked the car. Within minutes, the thief got into the car, stole everything he could, closed the door, and got out. When the owner returns, he will find that the door was closed when he left, but it is in a mess and there are no personal belongings of his.
"This approach first appeared in the province of Cordoba and not long ago in Buenos Aires. This is increasing. The locations they choose to steal are the main routes, those with the heaviest traffic and people doing everything in a hurry. They park, get out and remotely lock the car. They almost never check that the car is properly turned off, "explained Fernando Culshaw, the local police chief. "Another scenario for such thefts is the large parking lot of any commercial establishment, especially on weekends. That's where the car flows a lot, "he said.
Thieves are usually 40 to 50 yards away from the targets they have marked for robbery. They don't need to be closer together because the device can work remotely. It also makes it hard to notice them. To that end, one supermarket chain installed signs at its suburban branches with legends: "The Company assumes no liability for the theft or theft of your vehicle," and turned off signs with the basic advice, "Please be sure to lock up."
"Most people don't notice that the vehicle is locked and often don't pay attention to the sound that confirms the alarm has gone off correctly," said Daniel Beck, president of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. (International Automobile Association)
In general, criminal gangs often use well-known classic joysticks as inhibitors of communication. The thief changes the frequency of the device to "match" the frequency of the alarm. This "bandwidth" is international and spreads rapidly in the criminal world.
"Sometimes they use hand-assembled devices, and a lot of times they use handys, which can be purchased over the counter and are cheap. These devices have a frequency range permitted by the ENACOM, the regulatory authority. But when they steal it, they modify it and so they can produce illegal products, "Culshaw said.
Flying with wireless interceptors is nothing new in Argentina. According to a new relay from Mesa Interempresarial of Trucks Piracy, car thieves in 2018 inherited the methods of more ambitious criminal accomplices: Asphalt Hackers, in a historic way, have seen an increase this year compared to 2017, with an average of 3.5 attacks per day.
At least five years ago, cargo raiding gangs used sophisticated gadgets in their attacks on large trucks to prevent any alerts to the satellite monitoring services guarding the cargo. For example, inhibitors were used in one of the most ambitious hacks in recent years: In February 2017, commandos hit a Fravega truck carrying nearly a thousand Playstation 4 consoles, estimated at the time to be worth $300,000, on the Ricchieri highway, The case was investigated by UFI No. 25 of Lomas de Zamora.