CategoriesThe United Kingdom

The Underworld of Car Theft: Methods and The Black Markets


Car theft is a significant issue worldwide, with thieves constantly evolving their methods to outsmart security systems. Once stolen, these vehicles often end up in unexpected places, sold in various forms for profit. This article explores the sophisticated techniques used by thieves to steal cars and the subsequent markets where they are sold.

How Thieves Steal Cars

Traditional Methods

The most straightforward way thieves steal cars is by picking locks. However, with advancements in vehicle technology, this method is becoming less effective, especially for new cars.

Keyless Car Theft

Keyless car theft is a growing concern. Thieves use tech devices to intercept the signal from the key fob, tricking the car into thinking the key is nearby. This method allows thieves to unlock and start the car without physically having the key.

Tip: Keep your keys away from doors and windows to prevent thieves from amplifying your key’s signal. A good place to store your keys is on the kitchen table.
Also, you can use a Key Signal Blocking Case: These cases block your key’s signal, preventing thieves from using it to unlock your car. Browse our selection of premium signal blocker bags here

Reprogramming Keys and Signal Jamming

Thieves have also devised methods such as reprogramming keys and signal jamming. They can reprogram a blank key fob to start the car or use a jamming device to prevent the car from locking when the owner presses the key fob.

Sophisticated Hacking

With the rise of connected cars, thieves are turning to more sophisticated hacking methods. They exploit vulnerabilities in the car’s software, allowing them to take control of the vehicle.

Where Stolen Cars End Up

Selling Stolen Cars Overseas

Stolen cars often end up overseas, where they can fetch a higher price4. High-end luxury vehicles are particularly targeted for this method. For instance, a stolen vehicle was tracked from the UK to Uganda, leading to the interception of an international criminal gang.

Chop Shops

Many stolen cars are sold to ‘chop shops. These operations strip cars for parts, which are then sold to individuals needing parts for crashed cars. These chop shops are often sophisticated operations, making it challenging to locate stolen vehicles

Criminal Activity

Stolen cars are sometimes used in other criminal activities, such as robberies or drug trafficking. Certain models are targeted more often for use as getaway vehicles.

Cloning Cars

Thieves sometimes clone stolen cars by replacing the number plates with those from an almost identical vehicle. This allows them to sell the car without arousing suspicion.


Car theft is a complex issue that continues to evolve with advancements in vehicle technology. Understanding the methods used by thieves and the subsequent markets for stolen cars is crucial in developing effective countermeasures. As car owners, staying informed about these tactics can help us better protect our vehicles from potential theft.

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Signal Blocker Team
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