Car Thieves Arrested After Using Counterfeit Nintendo Game Boy To Bypass Security
It’s a very strange story. A gang of British car thieves have been arrested after being caught with a device essentially disguised as a Game Boy to gain access to vehicles and bypass their security systems. This device costs around £20,000 (US$27,000) and allowed car thieves to start the engine while bypassing security, allowing them to drive off with the stolen vehicle.
According to BBC News, Dylan Armer, Christopher Bowes and Thomas Poulson stole five Mitsubishi Outlanders using the gadget to bypass the cars’ security systems. The trio, all from Yorkshire, were jailed at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal. They were arrested after a Mitsubishi Outlander was stolen from a driveway in Scholes on July 20.
When officers arrested the three men, they found the Game Boy-style gadget hidden in a secret compartment of their car. They also found video from Paulson’s phone that showed how quickly and easily the gadget gave them full access to vehicles. This video was “accompanied by a comment in mocking tones” according to the police.
So how do these sneaky devices work? The devices are sold by Bulgarian technology company SOS Auto Keys. They can be used to record car data. With this data, the vehicle will recognize the device as an authorized remote control to control its entry and ignition. The device is marketed as “the most advanced locksmith tool” available by SOS Auto Keys.
Here is a video from SOS Auto Keys that shows the process in which the tool opens car doors.
The devices have been on sale since June and, as noted above, they resemble Nintendo’s handheld. The UK Automobile Association noted that although SOS Auto Keys said the gadget should not be purchased by anyone with “unlawful intentions”, the device could easily fall into the wrong hands.
Police chiefs have been alarmed by the rise in car thefts, which hit a record 106,291 last year with a 50% increase over the past six years according to crime statistics. Some of the blame is placed on manufacturers for not doing enough to prevent crimes like this.
As previously mentioned, the three men arrested are Dylan Armer, Christopher Bowes and Thomas Poulson. Armer received 30 months in prison, while Bowes and Poulson received 22 months suspended sentences. Although the story is over, only time will tell how many keyless cars will be stolen with devices made by SOS Auto Keys in the future.