Warning from a PSP member:
Almost 2 years ago our car was "broken into" twice on our block (5th street). Both "break-ins" happened within a month of each other.
The first time I figured our (at the time) 2 year old had accidentally unlocked the car door while playing with my keys as we're super careful about ALWAYS locking the car.
The 2nd time it happened (only about a month later) it truly stumped me, so I put a post up here on PSP and got some clarity as to what probably happened. There's a device folks can use to essentially use your own car keys to unlock your car if your keys are within 50 feet of your vehicle. Here's the article that was sent to me by a fellow PSP.
Both times our car was parked right in front of our home and my keys were hanging right inside our front door, in our hallway. Both times they left our expensive car seat and stole things upfront like change, car charger, old GPS, old sunglasses and a few other odds and ends in the front console and glove compartment.
Since then I keep my car keys in the very back of our house, so they can't be used to unlock our car from the street. Some people store car keys in their freezer to avoid this issue. Ahhhh New York City living - never a dull moment.
From what I got out of the above article it sounds like law enforcement in the US is a bit out of the loop on this technology, so I wonder if in these recent cases the police even asked how close the car keys were to the victim's car?
In any case, hope this helps someone else avoid having their car "broken into".
This does not mean "old school" car break-ins will be a thing of a past. Here are some general reminders about car safety:
Remember: car theft is one of opportunity! So...
1. Don't leave anything valuable in sight, don't leave your car idle, don't leave your car unlocked. From the local precinct: "Just wanted to let you know that we have had a few car break-ins [...]. In both cases there was no broken glass or sign of forced entry. It appears that both car doors may have been unlocked at the time of the incidents. In both cases change was removed from the vehicles. I will be working late tonight in an effort to combat these thefts. Please advise your people to double check that they've locked their car doors and whenever possible please avoid leaving anything of value in your car.
2. Don't leave the accessories related to your valuables in the car: phone chargers, cables, phone holders, GPS holders and mounts (including suction cups! Note that even the rings left on your windshield can be enough to attract a thief so consider cleaning it each time you use it)
3. Don't leave anything tempting in your car: while you know it's gross old sneakers in that gym bag, a thief doesn't.
4. Avoid keeping personal information in your car.
5. Pay attention to where you park. If you see a spot with broken glass near and around it or that's poorly lit, consider parking elsewhere.
6. Finally, always use common sense and listen to your gut!