Весьма интересно читать для тех кто владее английским о том как угоняют машины в америке. В сравнении с РФ - как небо и вода. Confessions of a Car Thief. Introduction You lock your car and activate the alarm system, but can that keep out the thieves who steal more than 1 million vehicles in the U.S. each year? Absolutely not. That's what former car thief Gary Sousa (not his real name) told us in this story about his life of crime. We found Gary through a friend who works in a municipal drug court, where car thieves sometimes end up. In this four-part article, Gary shares all his secrets, including how he began stealing cars before he reached legal driving age, which types of cars are the easiest marks and the techniques he used to steal them. You'll be amazed how easy it is to steal cars, especially when their owners are a little careless. At the end of this series, we'll show you how best to protect your car from folks like him. Part I Learning the Ropes I was stealing two cars every day, and that would put about $800 in my pocket. I went from staying in abandoned houses to being able to rent motel rooms for a week at a time, with just an hour's work. My brother was a dope dealer and my dad was on drugs, so by the time I was 15 I did a lot of methamphetamine. It got so bad that I was living on the streets, in motel rooms and abandoned houses. I felt like, "Only the strong survive" and I did whatever it took to get money. I started hanging out with a couple guys from Las Flores, a gang in El Monte who stole cars. Car thieves like to talk about their business; they think it's cool, so most new thieves get their knowledge and tools from other criminals. Every night we would go out and look for people slippin' — you know, leaving stuff outside where we could take it. Things like lawn mowers or whatever we could steal to make money. These guys taught me to look around for cars parked outside around 4:30 or 5 in the morning. See, people have a habit of going outside and starting their car to warm it up. Then they leave their keys in the ignition, go back in and get their coffee or books or whatever. If you see a car idling like that, it only takes a quick second to steal. You can easily grab new cars that way, but often you can't really make any money on a new car, because the parts are all stock and stamped with serial numbers. But there are ways around that, too. A lot of gangs take the stolen cars to a crooked used car dealership. That dealership will file off the serial numbers, stamp their own numbers on it, then sell and register the car. Presto. To make real money, you want something that's been all tricked out. You can just take it apart yourself and make money selling the parts on the streets. I stole cars with rims, stereo systems and body kits. Sometimes I got lucky and found drugs, guns, jewelry, cell phones or money in them. I didn't want to sell the parts myself most times, so I'd drive the car to a chop shop in Los Angeles. I was stealing two cars every day, and that would put about $800 in my pocket. I went from staying in abandoned houses to being able to rent motel rooms for a week at a time, with just an hour's work. I'd get a room and food; then I'd go buy alcohol and party. I thought I was going to be a millionaire from selling drugs and stealing cars. When I was drugged out, I even used to break into a police station and steal stuff, 'cause I just didn't care! I've even stolen cars from dealerships. If you take a walk through a dealership — one where the lot's located off the street — you'll find cars with keys in the ignition or on the floor. You just break the window and take off. The only thing you're chancing is that a cop could pass by when you're pulling out of the driveway. Another place with easy pickings is an auto parts store or mechanic's shop — anywhere you drop off your car to have it fixed. If they don't have enough room in their garage, they'll leave your car in the parking lot with the keys in the ignition. They can see it from the shop, sure, but who's to stop me when I get in the car and lock the doors behind me? Gas stations are good places, too. Hang around at a gas station and you're bound to see someone jump out of their car, leave the key in the ignition, and run into the cashier or the mini mart. The time of day didn't matter either; it just called for a different approach. If it was broad daylight, I went for auto parts stores or gas stations. I would also go for a car parked in a carport or an underground garage — somewhere I could hide in the dark. If a car was in a lighted area, I wouldn't go for it. I also wouldn't go for any car with an alarm. I could have, but personally I went for whatever was easiest. Before I approached a car, I would hang around and watch the area. If I saw big vans driving by, I wouldn't go for the car. It could mean someone in the van was watching you, maybe a cop. I've had big white vans roll up on me and bust me with drugs. So I was really cautious about those. I also learned to avoid police "bait cars;" cops leave 'em unlocked to attract car thieves. Part 2 More Tricks of the Trade Carmakers can put all this new anti-theft technology in cars today, and thefts are going to go down for the next year. But we'll learn how to break into that car eventually. There are all kinds of ways to steal a car if you have the knowledge. Ford Aerostars can be started with a pair of scissors. Any model before '98 you can do with a screwdriver. With GM trucks before '98, the only thing you gotta do is break the steering wheel lock. You pop the hood, and there's a solenoid. Touch the screwdriver from the solenoid to ground — the car fires right up. Hondas, Acuras and GMCs before the year 2000 are the easiest cars to take. I always went after Hondas, but all you need for a Toyota Camry is a pair of scissors. Some cars are tougher. It could take me all night to get one started, tearing the hell out of it with the screwdriver, looking with my flashlight for those two little clips that'll start the car. But that was all before I learned how to make "master keys." You can easily file down the teeth in a specific way — it's not difficult — and it becomes a master key. You use that to open any model and any year of that make. Another good find for car thieves is tow trucks, because they've got keys to all the cars in a book. You see a tow truck somewhere, you break the window, take the book and you can get into any car you want. Easy. Newer cars are much tougher to steal, because any car after 2003 has a laser-cut key. If you get an ignition that's meant for a laser-cut key, you can't just stick a screwdriver in there, and you can't use a master key. And you can't easily take a car if it's got a security chip built into the key, either. Other thieves I knew could find ways around anything, but I just was never able to get around those things. For car thieves, it's not hard to get the right tools these days. I used to work for a tow truck company, for example. I would go and use my boss' name — because he was licensed — to buy master keys from the places that sell them to towing operations. I've even bought jimmies [lockout tools] without anyone getting suspicious. Every car thief comes across the right connection sometimes. Carmakers can put all this new anti-theft technology in cars today, and thefts are going to go down for the next year. But we'll learn how to break into that car eventually. Remember when everyone was putting Clubs on their steering wheels? Well, you can defeat those with simple tools; it's much easier than an ignition. When laser-cut keys were first put in, you never heard of anybody stealing any car with a laser-cut key. But people start to learn how to do it. It's just human nature to want to figure it out. There's always a way. There's no way to stop a thief from stealing your car if they know what they're doing. Part 3 What Happens to Your Stolen Car? How do you, the Edmunds reader, avoid becoming a victim of a car thief? We examined statistics and tips from the pros. First, the good news: Theft in 2007 was down 8.1 percent from the prior year and 11.8 percent from 1998. Now, the bad news: Thieves still stole almost 1.1 million vehicles in 2007. What's worse, thieves who discover personal information left in the car are now using it for identity theft, a skyrocketing crime with potentially devastating consequences. For that reason, Edmunds recommends never leaving mail or personal information, such as your date of birth, driver's license number or social security number, in the car. But according to former car thief Gary Sousa, reporting your car stolen to the local police department doesn't help much. "The cops will call out a report on the dispatch radio in the area, and the local cops will drive down the street and act like they're looking for your car. But if the thief has driven the car out of that area, which is what usually happens, there's no chance of them finding it," he said. "Cops outside the area can see the license plates of stolen cars on the computers in their cars, but your car's license plate usually doesn't actually get into that system for hours. By the time your report actually comes up on their computers, it'll be long gone." The reasons people steal cars vary, including joyriding, use in committing another crime, or even basic transportation (since even thieves need wheels). But the majority of vehicles are stolen for profit, with organized crime as a major beneficiary. Parts stripped from stolen cars are often resold for more than the value of the vehicle, frequently to unsuspecting customers. "Beaters" — vehicles in very poor condition — are often driven south and sold in Central or South America. Luxury or status makes are sometimes shipped and sold in Europe. And vehicles stolen as part of an insurance fraud scheme or used in a crime are often buried, burned or driven into a lake, never to be found again. Frank Scafidi, spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), an industry-sponsored organization combating insurance fraud and vehicle theft, has a sense of humor when it comes to auto thieves. "Not every crook is a Rhodes scholar," he mused. "If a car is stolen and recovered five hours later and there's nothing missing in it, that's a crook who couldn't figure out a bus schedule, so he stole a car instead. But if there's stuff missing from the car, it's because he needed fast cash, and a lot of that is drug related." Improved technology gets much of the credit for the drop in auto theft. More police forces are using "bait cars" to trap thieves — they do work on some thieves — and license plate readers, which quickly scan cars on the road to see if any are in their database. Consumers, too, are buying more theft-deterrence and recovery systems. "We have technology in effect in more places than ever before," Scafidi said, "but eventually the word about how to defeat them will reach even the 'Darwin type' auto thieves, and at that point we'll have to come up with something else." Part 4 How To Protect Your Car From Thieves The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends a "layered approach" to protecting your car. The more layers you have, the better protected your car will be. Layer #1: Common Sense — These are no-brainer tips that you might expect everyone to do, but car thieves make a good business out of people's carelessness — or laziness. Always do the following, even if parking for a brief period: Remove your keys from the ignition. Lock your doors/close your windows. Park in a well-lit area whenever possible. Layer #2: Alarm or Warning Device — These visible or audible devices and markers alert thieves that your vehicle is protected. Even if they don't always prevent theft, their presence often deters it. Audible car alarms Brake pedal locks Identification markers in or on vehicle Micro dot marking Steering column collars Steering wheel locks Theft-deterrent decals Tire locks/tire deflators Wheel locks Window etching Layer #3: Immobilizing Devices — These devices prevent thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices work with computer chips in the ignition key. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Popular third-layer devices include: Fuse cut-offs Kill switches Smart keys Starter, ignition and fuel disablers Wireless ignition authentication Layer # 4: Tracking Devices — The final layer of protection is a tracking device that can emit a location signal to a monitoring station or police after the vehicle is reported stolen. Vehicles recovered this way are often found more quickly and with less damage. Some systems combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote vehicle monitoring: If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer. (For more details on tracking devices, see "Evaluating Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems." Former professional car thief Gary Sousa agrees that these tracking devices are the best form of protection money can buy. LoJack, for example, has an industry-leading recovery rate of 90 percent. "If your car has LoJack installed, the cops will catch the thief like that. You can't get away. Thieves might stay away from really nice cars, because they might have LoJack on them. It's the most expensive but the best way to protect your car. Some GPS systems can help, too: All you have to do is call a company and then they'll try to track the car." While most of these devices will cost more than a few dollars, most car insurance companies offer discounts for vehicles equipped with certain theft deterrents or vehicle tracking systems; check with them before installing one. As Gary told us, though, there's no substitute for vigilance. There are a lot of guys like Gary out there, just watching and waiting for you to slip.