NEWS

Car Thieves Target GPS Units To Rob Homes

08/20/2012 01:01 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT
Getty Images
A picture taken on January 8, 2011 in Bailleul, northern France, shows a car using a Global Positioning System and driving past a speed radar sign on the highway A25. A new law in France came into force on January 5, 2012 for anyone driving in France, which bans the use of equipment that warns the driver of fixed or mobile radar speed trap possitions. The transportation and use of radar warning devices are now punished by a fine of 1.500 euros, the withdrawal of six points in the driver's license and seizure of the device. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Technology-savvy thieves are stealing cars and using the vehicle’s global position systems to navigate to the owner’s home so they can break in there as well, according to the insurance industry.

Rick Dubin, the vice-president of investigative services for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said car thieves are starting to learn how to manipulate GPS units so they can turn one theft into two.

"If they break into your vehicle and they grab your GPS, and let's say the vehicle is a BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, [Jaguar] or Lexus, they know you're fairly well off, probably, and now they've got your address,” he said.

“They could go home, to your home address and break in."

Dubin said most GPS units can also be removed, so car owners should take the device with them, or conceal them in their vehicle.

As well, Dubin said people should not input their home address into the GPS unit, just in case it is stolen.

“I've got a case here and it was in the U.S. where an individual went to a football game. While he was at the football game, they stole his GPS, and broke into his house and cleaned it out while he was still at the game,” he said.

Some police forces in New Brunswick have reported a recent rash of thefts from unlocked cars.