Mystery device being used to steal motor vehicles - Local police on lookout for high-tech machine

February 10, 2017
In this 2013 photo, Detective Corporal Leighton Bucknor of the Flying Squad and Corporal Cleaveland McCalla examine a scene in St Catherine where some stolen motor vehicles were found.

As investigators in the United States probe the use of a mystery device used to steal motor vehicles, local authorities say they are on alert as there is a possibility it could show up in Jamaica.

The high-tech gadget, investigators theorise, is used by criminals to gain full access to your car, rendering alarm systems useless.

With the use of the device, thieves are able to break into a vehicle by accessing the ignition through a remote system.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers, who heads the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch, said the unit which investigates stolen motor vehicles is aware of the device, however, they have not encountered it locally.

"It was reported to me that this device was being used and so I had a chat with the stolen motor vehicle unit. They have not come across this device, but they cannot say it is not here," Chambers said.

"That is not to say that is not happening, but we are not seeing that high-tech trend being used as it concerns stealing motor vehicles in Jamaica," he added.

Motor vehicle theft is common in Jamaica, and Chambers said that from all indications, the culprits are using traditional methods. He said that the police have been able to secure fingerprints from many of the stolen vehicles that have been recovered.

"The prints that are lifted are that of persons who are engaged in stolen motor vehicle rings. So if we should use that as a point of departure, we can say that these are persons who are involved in the criminal network over a period of time," ACP Chambers said.

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