It is not known if this scam has reached New Zealand.
On Wednesday, I approached my car from the passenger side to place my computer bag on the front passenger seat. As I reached to open the door I noticed there was a hole right under my door handle. My first thought was, “Someone has shot the car !” I began to think about it and inspect it a little closer and the “light” slowly began to dawn.
I phoned a friend who owns a body shop, and asked if he had any vehicles with damage to the doors that looked like a bullet hole. “Yes, I see it all the time. Thieves have a punch and place it right under the door handle, knock a hole through, reach in and unlock it, just as if they have a key. No alarms, broken glass, or anything.”
I then placed a call to my insurance agent and explained it to him. I was puzzled that they left my GPS and all other belongings. Here is where it gets scary !
“Oh no, he said, they want the break-in to be so subtle that you don’t even realize it. They look at your GPS to see where “home” is. Or check your address from Insurance and Registration documents in your glove box. Now they know what you drive, go to your home, and if your vehicle isn’t there they assume you aren’t, and break into your home.”
He said they will even leave a purse or wallet and only take one or two credit cards. By the time you realize there has been a theft, they may have already had a couple of days or more to use them. (I didn’t realize my situation for two full days!) They even give you the courtesy of re-locking your doors for you.
Periodically, walk around your car, especially after you park in a shopping center or other large parking area.
Report thefts immediately….your bank w/missing cheque numbers, your credit card agencies, police, and insurance companies, etc.
Here is an image of what the hole may look like.