First, a car thief will peer in through the windshield of a vehicle and record the vehicle identification number or VIN label on the dashboard of the automobile. They walk into a car dealership for that particular car brand and request a duplicate key for the same car using the VIN. The reason or, in the case of the thief, lie used is that the key is lost or locked in the car coupled with a desperate tone. You add having the VIN # to the story and it makes the whole falsehood believable. Car dealerships will then make a duplicate key using the VIN supplied to them and collect payment for the duplicate key.
One way to deal with this is to cover the VIN label using paper or placing opaque tape across it. Legally, the VIN label cannot be removed. However, you can conceal it so that the would-be thief is not able to see it. However, the number must not be covered while driving. This is more of a solution for private car owners. But, what about car dealerships?
In this trying economy, car dealers want to do their best to treat all potential customers well so that they come to them for a new car or more service. Thieves take advantage of the courtesy and coolly steal cars right in front of their eyes using stolen VIN numbers. No break in – no damage. The scam has worked because car dealerships are not asking for identification. It’s not that this is not policy for the dealership to ask, they’re just not following it. A car dealership should require identification, a driver’s license and a registration card for that vehicle before cutting any keys.
Car Dealership Theft
Car dealerships need to be especially careful because a business could suffer greatly from this. Just recently, at a cash for car business in Long Island, NY, a car thief was caught on video tape stealing a car key to a Mercedes and it aired on the Channel 12 News!
A thief brazenly found a way to slip into the back office. The surveillance camera caught him feverishly searching for the car keys to a Mercedes. He took a huge risk and actually succeeded in swiping the car keys. He drove right off the lot in the Mercedes in broad daylight!
Thanks to video surveillance placed in key areas throughout the dealership, the thief was caught on video. The dealership immediately had the video aired on the Channel 12 News that evening as well as the following morning. One of the employees at the dealership received an anonymous phone call from an individual describing the stolen Mercedes and stated it was parked in the nearby area. How about that?… Saved by the video.
Suffice to say, the car dealership was able to recover the stolen vehicle back to their lot. The owner immediately added more upgrades to the dealership’s security to the point where it is more airtight than ever before. Considering the shape the economy is in, they’re doing rather well in these times and the owner obviously intends to keep it that way.