CrimeTracker: Robbery tactic proves to be fake

After a series of car breaks in Jefferson City, e-mails have been circulating about the latest robbery tactic.

You press your remote key locking device and a beep says your car is locked, safe and protected while you are away.

But then you read this: "there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device."

Scary news to hear, expecially when it is being sent out by employers.

"It was believeable when I read it," says Rhonda of Fulton.

It says would-be thiefs sit nearby a car and wait for their next victim. Once they get the code they can then break into your car and gain access to your personal belongings. Its called code-grabbing.

Highway Patrol Lieutenant Dave Hall looked at the email. He has seen it before.

"We had also heard about this issue from the Jefferson City Police Department. This did not occur and it is not a true email," says Hall.

Code-grabbing hasn't happened in Missouri and with the millions of codes and the distance a transmitter has to travel investigators think its unlikely.

Hall says people should not be worried.

But that doesn't mean Rhonda will be less vigilant.

"Right now with hackers in this day and age...I just don't think you can be careful enough."

If you are still concerned, police recommend manually locking your car door by either pushing the lock down or hitting the power lock button on your door. That prevents the possibility of someone intercepting the signal.

Lieutenant Hall is with the Missouri Information and Analysis Center or MIAC. It was created specifically to bust these myths so people don't pass them around.

If you are ever concerned about something you read or hear about you can contact MIAC online at

The investigators with MIAC also use websites like and

An example of a fake email being passed around:

How to lock your car and why I locked my car. As I walked away I heard my car door unlock. I went back and locked my car again three times. Each time, as soon as I started to walk away, I would hear it unlock again!! Naturally alarmed, I looked around and there were two guys sitting in a car in the fire lane next to the store. They were obviously watching me intently, and there was no doubt they were somehow involved in this situation. I quickly jumped in my car and went straight to the police station, told them what had happened, and found out I was part of a new, and very successful, scheme being used to gain entry into cars.

Two weeks later, my friend's son had a similar incident. While traveling, my friend's son stopped at a roadside rest to use the bathroom. When he came out to his car less than 4-5 minutes later, someone had gotten into his car and stolen his cell phone, laptop computer, GPS navigator, and briefcase. He called the police and since there were no signs of his car being broken into, the police told him he had been a victim of the latest robbery tactic -- there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device. They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and that they now have a few minutes to steal and run. The police officer said to manually lock your car door-by hitting the lock button inside the car -- that way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim, it will not be you. When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting, it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain it sends the code through the airwaves where it can be instantly stolen.