Stories like this make us rethink keyless start cars.
Automobile theft has been a great scourge in the automotive enthusiast community for decades. Taking from us the things that bring us copious joy in life, these thieves are regarded as some of the most arrogant and unlikeable characters in the modern automotive world. But, of course, this particular crime doesn't just affect car people and, in some cases, hurts others more as most people need their cars for work and transportation. Despite the growing disdain for those who would seek to strip families, workers, and car enthusiasts of one of their most valuable assets for personal gain, thieves continue to take what isn't theirs. In this case, a group of young carjackers found themselves inside a jail cell for doing just that. So what led Portadown police to be the culprit of several keyless car thefts?
It all started when some higher-end cars began to go missing, typically consisting of BMW keyless models. Portadown, Northern Ireland, residents reported that their vehicles were "literally spirited away during the hours of darkness." This is shaking enough but is even more terrifying when you realize just how easy it was for the thieves to complete their mission. Vaidas Dambrauskas was reportedly found with "a screwdriver, scanner, electronic jammer and electronic wireless apparatus for use in the course of or in connection with any burglary or theft." These components made stealing cars extremely easy as they allowed criminals to start the vehicles and drive off. You may already be shaking in your boots at the thought of this happening to you or a loved one, but the story only gets crazier from here.
Police eventually discovered that this was no ordinary crime spree as they concluded that the thefts could be linked to a single operation. As a result, Vaidas Dambrauskas, Keith Winter, and Kyle Coulter were all found guilty and sentenced on charges related to running a full-scale chop shop with six stolen car bodies found on Coulter's farm during a raid. All in all, the men were given sentences of 15 months for Dambrauskas and 42 months each for Keith Winter and Kyle Coulter. These men had apparently been running a chop shop for some time and now have met the long arm of the law. Combined, the sentences of the criminals add up to eight years and three months, a just punishment for a devastating crime against anyone needing reliable transportation.