Unusual driveway theft could point to new high-tech tactics

Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 22:08:43-04

SAN DIEGO - A Clairemont car owner is trying to solve a painful mystery after a thief quietly nabbed her alarm-equipped car from her driveway.

On Monday morning, when Nadia Foucher walked outside her home, she did a double-take.

"Absolute panic and anxiety," said Foucher.

Missing from the driveway of her home on Mount Hay Drive was her 2009 Volkswagen Jetta she bought a few years ago.

"It's definitely an odd scenario because we didn't hear anything and we would have," said Foucher.

As Foucher and her husband slept a few feet away, a thief somehow quietly made off with her car.

"The windows were locked, the doors were locked, the alarm was set, "said Foucher. "Some things just don't add up. It's very strange and very unusual."

Across the country, similar crimes are taking on a high-tech twist. Surveillance footage has captured thieves using mysterious devices to crack the codes for key fobs.

In Houston, a group of men were caught on video carrying laptop computers, going to work in the car and then driving off within minutes.

Houston police recently arrested two men for using computers and pirated dealership software to snatch more than 100 vehicles and taking them to Mexico.

Back in San Diego, it's not known how a thief nabbed Foucher's car, but Foucher's anxiety hasn't gone away.

"It's disconcerting and it doesn't give you any sense of safety or security knowing even with your doors locked and alarm set … not only can your car get broken into, it could get stolen," said Foucher.

A sergeant with the San Diego County Regional Auto Theft Task Force said driveway thefts are rare, but can't recall any local examples of local car hacking that have been proven.

If you're worried, authorities suggest putting on a steering wheel lock in addition to setting an alarm.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call San Diego police.