Could your car's keyless entry be helping criminals?

Jade Cunnigham talks to police about how keyless entry and car thefts could be linked.

NEW ORLEANS -- There's been an uptick in auto burglaries in Uptown, and while police work to try and catch those responsible, officers are noticing a new trend they want drivers to be aware of.

Police said the keyless entry technology of your car could be helping criminals.

"Press it once and it'll unlock, press it twice and it unlocks all the doors," described driver Blake Heymann.

Keyless entry is a new technology in cars that drivers seem to like.

"I enjoy it because I never take it out of my pocket," said Heymann. "It's one of those where you just walk up, you can press the little button on the door, everything opens up, and hop in."

However lately in Uptown, remote entry is turning some drivers into victims. New Orleans Police said they're now warning drivers about what's going on.

"Put your keys far enough away, or put them in metal containers," said Lt. Jennifer Dupree with the NOPD Second District.

The problem is, the key fob may be in your house or pocket, but could still be close enough for the car to read its signal. Meaning anyone can get in, or worse, drive off with your car.

"We're finding you can be, in some cases, ten to fifteen feet away from the car and someone can start your car and open the door," said Lt. Dupree.

In the past two weeks in Uptown, there were 37 auto burglaries. It's a number Lt. Dupree called "extremely disturbing." She also said several incidents were because the car was still reading the key fob's sensor, or because the key fob was left in the car.

"We've had residents go into the store and someone's started the car and taken the car," she said.

Some drivers in the area are aware of the recent danger and say they're taking extra precautions so they don't become the next victim.

"I always listen for the beep and I double check, triple check and I take my keys to the back with me and that's just how every day and every night starts and ends," said resident Kate Spangenberg.

NOPD says they've been able to recover some of the stolen cars because once it runs out of gas or turns off, it won't turn back on. They said the best thing to do is keep a lengthy distance between the key fob and the car.

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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