Car thieves find ways to manipulate key fobs to steal vehicles from dealerships

"Our cars are stolen to commit other crimes [and] recovered at crime scenes"
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- Surveillance video from inside the Schaumburg Infiniti dealership shows two men in black masks dragging a safe full of keys across the showroom floor.

They can then have the keys to any car they want to take.

Another video from the overnight hours shows a thief casually getting into a red corvette, starting it with a device intended for locksmiths and moments later driving off.

Dealers said it's becoming a big problem.

"We see the bad guys getting their hands of those, using them to start vehicles then re-key them with new key fobs," said Karianne Thomas with the Zeigler Auto Group.

Thomas said since the beginning of the year, thieves have stolen more than a dozen new or used cars from Zeigler dealerships.

Last week, a thief broke a window in the service department. The person then broke the window out of a Durango on the showroom floor.

RELATED: 9 in custody after crashing several stolen Chevy Camaros: police

And just like customers browse the vehicles in stock online, the thieves are also apparently looking at inventory before they arrive to figure out what vehicles they want to steal.

"It's an ongoing and nightly problem we're trying to prevent," Thomas said.

At the Infiniti dealership, after thieves broke in recently, they had to reprogram all the key fobs so they lined the parking lot with vans for security in the meantime. The head of security said thieves are getting more brazen.

At the Chevy dealership, they have put up new temporary lighting and cameras in the parking lot to try to deter thieves.

"Our cars are stolen to commit other crimes [and] recovered at crime scenes," Thomas said.

Of the seven cars stolen from this dealership in recent weeks, they've recovered six of them, but in much worse shape than when they left the lot.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.