Break-ins due to window/lock exploit

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I have a 96 Honda Civic with manual door locks. I have had my car broken in to three times is the last ten months.(two times in the last three days.) I
live in a apartment complex nice enough to attract thieves, however not nice enough to have overnight security. The break-ins were done in large waves. All the cars broken into on these nights were Hondas that cover the whole of the complex. In all three instances the police told me that Hondas are easily broken into due to an "exploit" in the windows/door locks.
Is there a manufacture recall or a way to fix this problem?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
WooHoo2You
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I don't know of a fix. The person or persons that broke into your car probably used what is known as a "slim-jim". The owners of tow trucks carry them to open the cars of people that lock their keys inside their vehicles. All car thiefs have them and they can easily be home made. They can used to break in almost any car regardless of the company that made the car. They usually go after older cars that are not likely to have car alarms. I advise you to buy a car alarm and install it. In addition, put stickers on both front windows indicating that you have a car alarm installed.
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I do not know if they used a slim jim. I do know that the pressed the window down almost an inch, and caused damage to the rubber weathering strips that seal the top section of the glass to the door's frame.
WooHoo2You
wrote:

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That sounds like the way the road service guy opened my son's '89 Accord LXi when he locked the keys in it. No go with the slim jim - there was just nothing to grab that would move the direction he needed to go to unlock the door. He next tried to push the driver's window down, but just couldn't get the gap he needed without damaging something. Then he got a pair of padded pry bars and a pair of padded wooden wedges out and worked at making a gap between the door and the body at the top rear corner of the driver's door. About 5 minutes of that opened a gap he could get a stiff wire in and flip the lock lever. That guy earned his $35, I'll tell you!
(Probably all cars can be opened that way, I'm guessing.)
Mike
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I just find it strange that all the cars that were broken into were Hondas, and the exact same way, on all there occasions.
I love my Civic, and would only trade-up for another Honda, however at this point I am second guessing my decision on new car purchases. (it just kills me when I walk to my car and all of my belongings on the wet ground beside my car, or a police officer coming to my door to inform me of the wonderful news.)
WooHoo2You

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WooHoo2You wrote: | I just find it strange that all the cars that were broken into were | Hondas, and the exact same way, on all there occasions.
I live in a complex, too, and had my car (Civic 88) broken into three times. Two times, it was the cheap "smash a window, yank the radio, run" trick (actually, once they only stole the face of the radio that was under the seat and left the radio in?!).
When the third theft happened, I didn't even notice. As I was about to drive off in the morning, I noticed that the glove compartment was open. I tried remembering whether I had unlocked the car (happens automatically), and wasn't sure I actually had.
Closer inspection showed that the car was broken into. Two (empty) packs of cigarettes were missing, nothing else. What *was* curious, though, was that on the driver side window, the little "nose"/tab that guides the window at the front top of the window when it meets the frame was missing. I found it next to the car on the ground, a little piece of metal with the (plastic-covered) nose. I could stick it back in and it's been there since.
The same night a whole lot of other Hondas were broken into the same way. My carport neighbor told me that they only stole some mints out of her car, but she had the same symptom - that little nose missing. If I remember right, it's was an older (late 80s) Accord.
So I guess there is a weak spot for those in the know with the lack of respect for others property.
| I love my Civic, and would only trade-up for another Honda, however | at this point I am second guessing my decision on new car purchases. | (it just kills me when I walk to my car and all of my belongings on | the wet ground beside my car, or a police officer coming to my door | to inform me of the wonderful news.)
Yeah that sucks. A few things to consider:
- put in an alarm, or at least a blinking light. Even though nobody even notices alarms these days (at least not around where I live), it's still an added risk factor for a thief. Given two cars, side-by-side, one with a blinking light and the other without, which one would you pick?
- *take out all valuables*. That includes empty bags that look like they could have a laptop computer etc. You can go as far as leaving the glove compartment open to show that there's nothing fancy inside.
- (aftermarket stereo) - take off the face and out of the car.
- (if nothing is worth stealing in the car) - consider even leaving it unlocked. That might sound radical but at least it saves you having to replace another window.
- use an immobilizing device such as a club. Yes, those can be cracked as well (literally...) but it takes more time. Not worth for hobby thieves, and pros don't mess with crappy little Civics (no insult, I have one too ;)
A friend had his (old beat up) Camry stolen for a joyride. Ever since then, I have a club on my wheel and leave nothing in it worth stealing. Knock on wood, it hasn't been broken into in the last 3 or so years...
Oh - slimjimming these cars is *simple* - when I locked in my keys, the AAA guy that came needed about all of 7 seconds to have it open.
|| || WooHoo2You ||
|| |||| I do not know if they used a slim jim. I do know that the pressed |||| the window down almost an inch, and caused damage to the rubber |||| weathering strips that seal the top section of the glass to the |||| door's frame. |||| ||| ||| That sounds like the way the road service guy opened my son's '89 ||| Accord LXi when he locked the keys in it. No go with the slim jim - ||| there was just nothing to grab that would move the direction he ||| needed to go to unlock the door. He next tried to push the driver's ||| window down, but just couldn't get the gap he needed without ||| damaging something. Then he got a pair of padded pry bars and a ||| pair of padded wooden wedges out and worked at making a gap between ||| the door and the body at the top rear corner of the driver's door. ||| About 5 minutes of that opened a gap he could get a stiff wire in ||| and flip the lock lever. That guy earned his $35, I'll tell you! ||| ||| (Probably all cars can be opened that way, I'm guessing.) ||| ||| Mike
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Tomb said "- (if nothing is worth stealing in the car) - consider even leaving it unlocked. That might sound radical but at least it saves you having to replace another window.
- use an immobilizing device such as a club. Yes, those can be cracked as well (literally...) but it takes more time. Not worth for hobby thieves, and pros don't mess with crappy little Civics (no insult, I have one too ;)"
I disagree. NEVER leave a Civic unlocked! I may be gettin off-topic here (break-ins for valuables vs stealing cars). Civics are high target cars for theives primarly for their parts, not the valuables left inside. My 1992 Civic si was recently stolen. A few days later it was found. It was missing the rims and tires (originals, not fancy aftermarket wheels), steering wheel, instrument cluster, rear speaker covers (the factory ones, hard to find for a hatchback!), rear deck lid, pistons for holding the rear window open, plastic rocker panels and the trim around the radio antenna. The theives also took the time to exchange the hood, both doors, and the tailgate for junky parts. Needless to say, I barely recognized my car when I went to ID the body. Also needless to say, it was wrote off by my insurance company. The one thing that surprised me was that the theives left my Alpine in dash CD player put. I had neglected to remove the face but they left that on the floor. They did take the remote though. Also the speakers along with the doors. They also missed my two amplifiers which were well hidden under the dash on passenger side. Pros do mess with crappy little Civics! Mine had 384000 kms on it and was barely driveable since the clutch cylinders were needing replacing...Oh man I could make this post twice as long to list everything that waas wrong with that car. Lets just say there was mixed feelings when I saw it gone and realized some complete moron had stolen it!
James
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On Thu, 19 May 2005 20:51:44 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

I had an 89 MG metro broken into that way. Went to the pub one night, left it there 9obviously) came back the next morning, drove to uni, when i got there, and was looking for somewhere to park, i thought the road noise was louder than suual. the passenger door (owhich would be the drivers door on a UK car0 had been pulled back in that way, it was about 3-4 inches away from the frame at the top. Never did get it bent all the way back in again. Ended up getting a new door from another car, and swapping the lock over.

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One workaround that is apparently common in Britain, which also has very high auto break-in rates, is simply to leave the doors UNLOCKED, and ALL valuables removed.
The crooks can enter without causing damage, look around, and hopefully leave emptyhanded.
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Of course,they might be after PARTS of your car itself,like the ECU;a part of your car that is very valuable,and absolutely necessary to operate your car.It will NOT run without it.
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And that approach would not have helped my sister either, as they were after her airbags. But then again, they got them anyway, even with the doors locked.
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At least the car can be driven without airbags. It cannot when your ECU is gone.(or your VTEC motor;note the "B" motors are no longer available.)
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wrecking yard; air bags are a bigger headache. The legality and acceptability of used air bags is marginal at best, so they are popular black market items. http://www.asashop.org/news/march99/nace.htm
Mike
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hopefully not IN you car....
Used to leave mine locked all the time in the UK. Even more than a few times, i'd locked myself out of the car, wait for it (its funny) with the engine running. I'd have blocked the exhaust to stop it too, but i'd stopped to lift the bonnet, because the exhaust had just come off the manifold...lost nearly a full tank of petrol, and 4 plugs.
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I did that once too! The car ran for almost two hours before the tow truck driver arrived and popped the door open (I was in the middle of nowhere).
I later solved that by disconnecting my "key in" warning beep. Now that there's nothing to save me, I have not locked myself out again in 13 years.
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I didn't have such a beep.
Its not a problem for me any more though, where i live now, i don't bother to lock the car anyway (Wifes unclue doesn't even lock his front door, and he was a cop here for 15 years). Radio station lists all the arrests and charges here every morning, typically about 8 things listed, mainly speeding, or 'theft by taking'
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WooHoo2You wrote:

Nothing I've ever heard of... certain Hondas are notoriously easy to break into though, and tend to regularly top most insurance companies most-stolen lists. The Insurance Corp. of BC lists The 1987-2000 and 2002 Civics as their #1 stolen vehicle, and 1986-97 Accords as #3 (behind 91-97, 99 and 2000 Dodge Caravans).
http://www.icbc.com/Crime-Fraud/PI213M%20 (122004).pdf
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What gets me is that after the first time or even the second time,this person did not install any sort of burglar alarm that would go off if a door was opened or window broken to gain access.
Granted,they ARE a PITA and an unwanted extra expense,but still of some use in preventing this sort of auto burglary.
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Hello, Honda has made an effort to fix these problems in their newer vehicles. I have a 1999 Accord EX. It has a special radio that won't work if it's removed from the vehicle. It has a security alarm system. It also came with a special key that has a computer chip under the plastic. The car won't start unless the special key is used. I don't know whether it's possible to "hot wire" the car. It's far superior to older Honda Accords that did not have hardly any security special equipment. Jason
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote in

That does not stop them from removing other parts like the ECU or airbags,seats,or body trim pieces. The ECU was stolen from my Integra GSR-before I bought an alarm.
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