Police warn car burglars are targeting keyless entry system

Police warn car burglars are targeting keyless entry system (Image 1)

Metro Nashville Police are investigating a string of car break-ins at a downtown Nashville parking garage that may have been accomplished by jamming the radio frequencies inside of remote keyless entry systems.

Police would not identify which downtown garage was targeted.

Central Precinct Commander Jason Reinbold said six cars were burglarized in the same parking garage Saturday night. None of the cars showed signs of forced entry.

“We usually we have more vehicles broken into via busting a window versus a vehicle being unlocked,” Commander Reinbold said. “It appears these auto burglaries were done in concert.”

Detectives began to investigate car break-ins in other cities where there were no signs of forced entry and discovered a string of burglaries where the suspects used a device to jam the radio signal a remote, keyless entry system uses to lock and unlock a vehicle.

“Then when the owner would walk away thinking their vehicle was secure the suspect would come and make entry into the vehicle because it is unlocked,” he said. “At times they would even secure the vehicle after they got done pilfering through the vehicle so a lot people don't even know they had been burglarized.”

Drivers Nashville's News 2 spoke with downtown said they almost exclusively rely on their remote controls to lock and unlock their vehicle doors instead of manually locking the car from the inside.

“I rarely even push the button on my car anymore,” Julie Haspel said. “I don't even know where the button is in the car.”

Another driver, Greg Birkmann, said he will pay closer attention when parking his car.

“Yeah, that is scary. I hadn't heard that,” he said. “It makes you think twice before walking away from your car.”

Metro police suggest drivers lock their vehicles by using the lock button on the inside of their vehicles.

If your car makes a sound when it is locked, like a honking horn or flashes its lights, make sure it does that before walking away from the vehicle.

Also, police said to be aware of your surroundings. If you notice someone watching you as you park or looks suspicious in the area call police.

Metro police continue to investigate the break-ins from over the weekend.

They are also telling officers who investigate car burglaries to ask the victim if they are sure the vehicle was locked. 

Any information about the car burglaries downtown Saturday night should contact Metro's Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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