Thorn­hill sees rise in car break-ins

Thieves use new tech­nol­ogy to de­crypt auto se­cu­rity codes

Thornhill Post - - News -

A ris­ing num­ber of car break-ins in Thorn­hill has cul­mi­nated in the ac­tual theft of a car, driven off an un­sus­pect­ing res­i­dent’s drive­way.

One morn­ing in Septem­ber, Lawrence Farb­man, a res­i­dent in Thorn­hill Woods, got in his car and was about to head out when he re­al­ized some­thing was wrong. His fi­ancée was in­side the house, but her car was nowhere to be seen.

The brand new Toy­ota Camry that the cou­ple had re­cently bought was gone. Farb­man also no­ticed his debit cards miss­ing from his wal­let that were left in his ve­hi­cle overnight, though his own car was oth­er­wise left un­touched. A con­sta­ble from the York Re­gional Po­lice ( YRP) ar­rived 30 min­utes later.

“She started in­di­cat­ing that thieves are no longer break­ing win­dows or any of that,” said Farb­man. “They have app-driven soft­ware that burns the smart keys and de­crypts the code, and that’s how they gain ac­cess.”

Farb­man got a hold of footage from a neigh­bour’s dash cam, and he was stunned at what he saw.

“So these guys came. They were like 20 feet away from both our cars, and we saw them un­lock our cars,” he said. “You can see the lights flicker.”

Thefts of this na­ture re­quire prepa­ra­tion and as­sess­ment, with thieves likely scop­ing out a po­ten­tial area be­fore de­cid­ing which places to hit, ac­cord­ing to Jor­dan Kalpin, an ac­tive mem­ber with the Pre­serve Thorn­hill Woods As­so­ci­a­tion (PTWA).

“We see a lot of break-ins into ve­hi­cles, but a lot less ac­tual ve­hi­cles stolen from peo­ple’s drive­ways,” said Kalpin.

With the help of the lo­cal coun­cil­lor San­dra Ye­ung Racco, of­fi­cers with the YRP were brought in for a com­mu­nity safety meet­ing dur­ing a se­ri­ous spate of break-ins last Novem­ber.

“It’s or­ga­nized gangs and or­ga­nized crim­i­nals who hap­pen to be in a neigh­bour­hood at a given time of the week,” said Kalpin.

Ar­rests for thefts stem­ming from or­ga­nized crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity are not of­ten made.

“If some­one broke into your car and the po­lice ar­rest the per­son, they will get a min­i­mal con­vic­tion,” said Ye­ung Racco. “So we re­ally need to break the thick ring around the ve­hi­cle theft in­ci­dents. That’s what we have to deal with.”

Farb­man’s fi­ancée’s car was found in Toronto less than two weeks after it was stolen. But this ex­pe­ri­ence has left the cou­ple shaken.

“My lit­tle one has had prob­lems sleep­ing over the last week or so,” said Farb­man. “My preg­nant fi­ancée is also wak­ing up at 3 a.m. in the morn­ing to make sure her car is still there.” –– Ge­orge Redak

Thorn­hill Woods has been the tar­get of car thieves

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