Key fob may not prevent criminals from stealing a warming up car - KMOV.com

Key fob may not prevent criminals from stealing a warming up car

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Items along the roadway after a family's car was stolen Thursday (Credit: KMOV) Items along the roadway after a family's car was stolen Thursday (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A Ferguson family was warming up their red Ford Explorer using the Key Fob, a keyless remote for a vehicle, when it was taken from the 1480 block of Atmore Drive. The family, who was in the process of packing for a trip, had the key fob in the house when the thief took off with the car.

The stolen car was found a few blocks away shortly after being taken from the home. It is believed the car turned off because the key fob was not within range. However, auto experts say most push start cars can drive until the tank is empty without the key fob inside. Once the driver turns off the car without the fob, they cannot turn it back on. Ferguson Police believe the suspect in this incident must have turned off the car without realizing they wouldn't be able to get it back on, so they ditched it a couple blocks from the home on Alliance Dr.

When the car was found, the luggage that was inside the vehicle was on the road. Nothing from the family’s luggage appeared to have been taken. 

Mike Hewitt with Audio Express in West County says automatic car starters are the only way to make sure your vehicle is safe while warming up. "As soon as they would hop in, and put their foot on the break to like put it in drive the vehicle would shut off," said Hewitt. Even if your car is locked and a criminal breaks through your window, they will not be able to take your car without the key and the automatic car starter inside the vehicle. 

Being so reliable, Hewitt says automatic car starters are becoming increasingly popular to buy. "We've sold like 200 this month. We average 13 of them a day," said Hewitt. 

St. Louis County Police say that morning, from 5-7am, is the most common time for criminal to attempt car thefts. They are encourage drivers to turn off their cars and lock them while at the gas station because that is another target area for criminals to hit.  

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