Vehicle lifters have been using sophisticated software available on online marketing portals for hacking security systems of high-end vehicles in Chandigarh and surrounding areas, detailed interrogation of Harpreet Singh, alias Smarty, revealed, on Thursday.
Harpreet Singh, who has a B.Tech degree in Computer Science, was arrested by the crime branch, on October 21, from New Delhi. He has been involved in 200 cases of vehicle theft. The sophisticated tools include a chip-reader, hacking system attached with a laptop or a small notebook and a hard object for breaking the side glass mirror for opening doors, he disclosed.
“The chip reader and sensor software are available on online portals. Even Harpreet Singh and his gang members procured different keys online, and transferred the sensor coding of the vehicles in these keys. With this, a simple key turned into the key of the specific vehicle. Other gang members also have such chip readers and software. They will be arrested shortly. Harpreet Singh revealed that one of the gang members was arrested in the NCR, while others are hiding in UP,” said Crime branch Inspector, Harinder Singh Sekhon.
“Harpeet Singh was interrogated thoroughly. His interrogation suggests that with the help of these tools, including the chip reader and software, a high-end vehicle can be easily stolen in less than five minutes. But the process needs expertise. Harpreet Singh disclosed that in the coming years, vehicle thefts will become very difficult because automobile agencies are beginning to install at least three sensors in high-end four-wheelers. Singh has maintained that deactivating one or two sensors installed in one vehicle is easy but sensors installed in engines cannot be easily deactivated,” said sources.
SI Ashok Kumar, who arrested Harpreet Singh, said, “Harpreet Singh’s gang fixed the price of every stolen car. They also charged Rs 20,000 additional money from customers for the key, in which sensor coding of the vehicle is transferred.”
Harpreet Singh remained in police custody for eight days. Nine vehicles including three Cretas, one Fortuner, one Esteem, a Brezza, Innova, Jeep and one i20 was recovered following his disclosure. The Fortuner and Esteem were stolen from Chandigarh. Singh was remanded in judicial custody on Wednesday.
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