Have Hawaii thieves found a new way to break into cars?

Auto theft

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Could a new crime be making its way to Hawaii?

Some authorities on the mainland believe thieves may have found a way to hack into a car alarm system and enter a vehicle.

Last Thursday, DJ and entertainer Kutmaster Spaz was getting ready to jump into his SUV, parked six feet away from the front door of his home in Hawaii Kai.

“And in the morning, I got up to this, I was like, ‘Wait, what happened?’” the local entertainer said.

He found his passenger door and glove compartment open. They also took his wallet.

His doors were locked and his car alarm was on. There was no sign of a forced entry. This also happened to two of his neighbors. So how did thieves get in?

“They apparently have some kind of device that can just open your car,” the DJ said.

He’s referring to the recent rash of car thefts across the country. Thieves walk up to a car and use a small box to open it.

No slim jim, no key, no problem. Authorities believe a mysterious device might be helping thieves hack into car alarm systems. It’s similar to what was happening 15 years ago.

“There was talk about a code grabber module that would grab a code when you transmit your alarm or garage door opener and it would receive that code and duplicate it,” Security and Sound Systems owner Kent Izuka said.

Izuka tells KHON2 that a modern alarm system changes codes each time you activate it. He and other experts KHON2 talked to say brands like Viper are made with higher technology.

“It would take a very long time for it to transmit billions and billions of codes to see which code would actually unlock this car,” Izuka said.

Izuka is not convinced there is a mysterious device helping car thieves. It could be a dishonest mechanic or valet.

“Any time you hand over your key, you never know if they duplicate a key that could unlock your door,” Izuka said.

“It just makes me scared. So what I’ve done is I take everything out of the car and I am getting an aftermarket alarm,” Kutmaster Spaz said.

Police across the country do not know exactly how thieves are disarming car alarms. Honolulu police say there are no confirmed cases in Hawaii.

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