Toyota's SOS saved/found my stolen V-ATP!

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by R2Pre2, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    I guess it is professional thieves getting lucky. That's because they intended to steal the minivan but they found the key to the Prius and drove off with the Prius. I wonder if they wanted to steal the minivan?

    I tend to agree with you though. It seems unlikely that two 17 year olds will have the discipline not to mess with the car, not to drive off road, not to make doughnuts in the parking lot, and not to take everything out of the car including spare tires before dumping it.
     
  2. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    So what was the total benefit for the thieves. I gather

    Prius: nothing. Of course, there is the expense of changing locks, keys but the thieves did not get any value out of it.

    Minivan: Did they take anything?

    At least you have the satisfaction of knowing that the thieves worked hard for almost no gain.:D Serves them right.
     
  3. R2Pre2

    R2Pre2 Feel the Force!

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    Yup, that about sums it up.

    Thieves score: 0 for 2
    Minivan score: 1 (nothing taken. only glove box stuff dumped in passenger footwell)
    Prius score: 1 + bragging rights as "the Prius who lived"
     
  4. Slovewell

    Slovewell New Member

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    I have the IV with Navigation but I don't have the SOS system, that I know of. This is like daytime running lights all the cars should have it.
     
  5. Soylent

    Soylent The v isn't a station wagon! It's just big boned

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    If you want to catch the thief (or thieves), look in the dealership.

    I've seen a TV show on this racket. Here's my hypothesis: Ever since "smartkeys" and all that security disabling stuff became standard, thieves could no longer just hot-wire or tow a car. So now, they have people that work at the dealer, and they simply get an original key!

    I'll bet there is one (or more) employees at the dealership who has access to the key codes (possibly a guy in the parts dept). They grab some random keys from the new car key lockbox (through a sales guy), make a copy, and return the original key.

    Then they just need to access their computer system to see the purchaser's name and address. With this information, they tell their field guy where to find the vehicle, and give him the key. He takes it, wands it down for Lowjack, and leaves it in some parking lot for 2-3 days.
    Another guy shows up, takes the car to a shop, where they re-VIN the car and make up a fake title.

    Eventually, like you said, it gets stuffed into a shipping container to South America and sold as a new car.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'd lean towards the simpler answer. Thief broke into the minivan (maybe suspecting the possibility of the Prius fob, maybe not). Got likely, found the remote. Clicked it, the god of thieves delivered him the gift of a squawk sitting right next to to the minivan. Took full advantage of this sudden gift.

    No conspiracy or insider corruption needed.
     
  7. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    Not everyone "wants" a subscription based service, despite the benefits. Despite this success story, I'm not upset that my "early version" Prius IV is missing Safety Connect. I'd probably use it if it were equipped, and if the recurring cost was reasonable.
     
  8. miketee

    miketee Junior Member

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    Soylent...that's a pretty scary scenario and very plausible! I've had my Prius III for 4 months and I still check the driveway before going to bed and first thing on getting up next morning. (Partly because I just like looking at it). Our neighborhood is pretty safe but you never know. Never had a car stolen but I've had 2 of my previous cars vandalized while at work, parked on the mean streets of D.C. Now, I park on a commercial lot. I have the second fob well hidden in my house and I'm always shure the fob I use is with me when I park. I like the fact that the Prius won't let you lock the car with the fob inside. I don't have SOS but after reading R2Pre2's story, I wish I did.

    R2Pre2...that was quite a story...glad you got your car back unscathed!
     
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  9. Soylent

    Soylent The v isn't a station wagon! It's just big boned

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    Ah, I didn't read the part where he got the remote. I assumed the car was taken with no key fob. :rolleyes:
     
  10. walterm

    walterm Active Member

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    Actually with the Prius SmartKey system this isn't possible - they would be able to make a metal key knowing the keycode, but that only grants entry to the car. To make another SmartKey capable of starting the car they have to have an expensive computer to interface to the car (I'm not sure how portable that unit is), and adding a new key requires already having a valid SmartKey (hence the complications when you lose your only key and need a new one configured). So this scenario is much less likely with the Prius.
     
  11. miketee

    miketee Junior Member

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    That's reassuring if its true. I was told by my salesman that the Prius is pretty hard to steal (without the smart key). In fact, I asked about buying an after-market alarm system (sold by the dealer) and was told I wouldn't need it. However, he did try really hard to sell me the extended warranty! :rolleyes:
     
  12. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Well that's quite a steal in itself......
     
  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Could the thief be a member of Prius Chat?:ph34r:
    You never know!:bolt:
     
  14. R2Pre2

    R2Pre2 Feel the Force!

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    I hope so. The "look to the dealership" concept is a bit too unnerving, no offense Soylent.

    Now, Patsparks, there you go getting all mischievous ninja-like. Careful, someone might put you in the naughty box. :p
     
  15. ToyotaFleetManager

    ToyotaFleetManager New Member

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    1) The smart key cannot be duplicated it has to be programed to the Prius. No two smart keys have the same code and each one has to individually programed into the car.

    2) The Prius's mechanical key is laser cut and cannot be cut by the dealer's key machine. A dealer must order one from the key code directly from Toyota. Even if they do manage to get the mechanical key directly from the key code it will only unlock the door and not start the car.

    3) The key code is not easily accessible by a standard dealership employee.

    4) Keys are no longer kept in a lock box by most dealerships. Keys are kept in a secure access area with a computerized key tag that requires whoever retrieves a key to enter their personal PIN as well as computer tag. That way anyone accessing any key can easily be tracked. My dealership can track anyone who has accessed the key from when the vehicle was recieved at the dealership to when it was delivered to the end user.
     
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  16. R2Pre2

    R2Pre2 Feel the Force!

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    To: ToyotaFleetManager

    Many thanks! Your description has allayed the concerns of Prius owners everywhere!
     
  17. ilusnforc

    ilusnforc Member

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    Would it be so hard for a salesman at the dealership to check the key out of the computerized key system and say he was showing the car to a customer, have his insider mechanic take a new blank key fob and program it as a 3rd fob to the car, sell the new car to a customer and provide the 2 original fobs and sell the 3rd fob and address of the new owner to some thief? I wouldn't doubt it happens, although I would doubt that this was an insider job because they would have just hopped in the Prius and took off without touching the van.

    It was probably just dumb luck, it's happened to my friend before. His new at the time 2001 Eclipse was sitting in front of my house after he just drove into town from Ft. Hood that day, around 1am we left in my car to run to wal-mart and drove up no more than an hour later to find the passenger door hanging open with the lock/handle pried off and the negative battery cable ripped off the post to shut the alarm up. His brand new fold out Alpine DVD screen and Alpine CD/MP3 stereo along with a playstation had been stolen with all the wires ripped out. Someone was home while this happened and the alarm woke them up, they thought we were outside working on the car as we often were but called the police when they saw someone jump across the hood of the car to pull the battery cable and stop the alarm. The police arrived right behind us, the thiefs parked a short distance down the street and ran before any descriptions could be made out of the people or the car they took off in, but they left some good skid marks when they took off. They were never caught, but it seems nobody but me and maybe 2 or 3 other people knew he was in town that day from Ft. Hood and he wasn't over at my house like that very often, only once or twice a month. Couldn't have been anyone that knew what was in the car to be stolen, nor when or where it would be, just had to be dumb luck.
     
  18. ToyotaFleetManager

    ToyotaFleetManager New Member

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    The key fob has to be programed by a computer with a special access program. The computer is usually security protected and can only be accessed by a very limited number of techs. Usually two to four techs at the dealership. (depending on the size of the dealership).

    Consider this:

    1) Key fobs are expensive therefore it is not easily accessible, and have tight inventory control.

    2) Whoever the salesperson is has to check out the key. That means the computer has a record of who, when and where the key was checked and for how long.

    3) The salesperson then has be working with one of the 2-4 select techs that have access to the computer. (BTW these are usually techs that have been at the dealership for years and are very well paid)

    4) The salesperson will also have to have someone in parts that is in on this.

    5) A salesperson with the exception of the actual salesperson that sold the Prius has very limited access to customer information.

    Take for example my system in my office.

    I have 8 different programs I access. Each one has my own personal password, on top of the password to my computer. Four of which requires a new password every 60 days.

    Regular salespeople by design has very limited access to customer's information outside of their own customer database. And their computer access is extremely limited.

    For this to work the person that sold you the vehicle has to be the same one that organized the duplication effort.

    So while your scenario might probable it is extremely unlikely.
     
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  19. ilusnforc

    ilusnforc Member

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    I'm sure there are some dealerships out there with people that write their passwords on a stiky note and stick it to the back of the keyboard. Passwords can be stolen too.
     
  20. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Active Member

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    R2Pre2 - FWIW, after 4 months, I still look out the window in the morning to see PeeWee in the driveway. He's always there - with just a little more bird poop on him than the day before. :p (Hmmm. Maybe that's what keeps the thieves away!)
     
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