Are thieves using high-tech ‘Fob Jammers’ to break into cars?

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BURIEN — It’s a matter of convenience to use that little key fob to lock and unlock your car without a key.

But a Burien man discovered thieves might have found a way to fool that fob and get into your car without breaking a single window.

Justin Rasmussen said he parked his car at Highline Athletic Club in late September. Before going inside, he said, he locked his car using his key fob. He even said he heard the horn beep.

But somehow crooks were able to get in his car without having to break the windows or locks – and Rasmussen is convinced that crooks are going high-tech to rummage through vehicles.

“I remember clicking my button and hearing the beep, hearing my car was locked, when I went into the gym,” he said.

The surveillance video is choppy but it captured a suspected thief pulling up next to Justin’s car and looking inside.

“When he approaches my car, the lights go on like it was unlocked,” said Rasmussen. “You can see that in the video and the pictures, that indicates to me that he had some sort of device.”

He said when he came back to his car, his wallet was gone -- but his car was locked.

“I know I locked it, I have no doubt in my mind that I locked the car,” he said. “It’s just a common practice to make sure.”

Rasmussen is not alone, surveillance video caught thieves in several other states entering locked cars without a key using what looks like a handheld device -- some call it a fob jammer -- to get inside and make off with valuables.

“You feel like you’ve been outsmarted,” said Steven Doi of Corona, Calif. “I thought I had everything on lockdown.”

Crooks got away with thousands of dollars' worth of Doi’s electronics. He was also certain he locked his car.

Now Rasmussen shares a reminder that everyone should hear.

“You should never leave your wallet in the car anyways; it’s a dumb mistake on my part,” he said.

To protect yourself, experts said, drivers should lock their cars using the key itself and not the wireless fob.


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