A UK court heard a case this week against a ring of UK car thieves who used GPS tracking devices to steal vehicles.
In addition to GPS, the thieves also used cloned smart keys. Cars parked using airport valet were targeted. A ring member would attach a GPS tracking device to the car and make a copy of the car key. Weeks, or sometimes months, later the thieves would track the car using the GPS device they’d attached and steal the car using the cloned key.
Other times, the thieves would cause minor damage to a car in traffic and recommend a repair shop to the owner where a thief would attach a tracking device and clone the key. Police, who were initially perplexed by the crimes, fitted a car with recording and GPS tracking devices of its own and sent it to one of the repair shops.
Luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover were targeted with most of the stolen cars sent to Belgium before moving to East Africa. To date, only one car has been recovered.