Laptop thefts in shopping malls and car parks are becoming fashionable

We start the 2022 / 2023 academic year with an increase in the statistics of theft of electronic devices and a ‘Modus operandi’ that is becoming fashionable in Spain: steal laptops that people leave in the car. Even companies like Telefónica have had to alert their employees to the wave of thefts.

Leave the laptop in the car

Some people take their laptop to work every day, or use a company laptop that they can take home. Be that as it may, if, for example, you go to the gym, or have an appointment, or are going to buy something at the last minute before returning home, the usual thing is that if you take your car, leave the ‘laptop’ inside it when you park in a public parking lot, or in the parking lot of a department store or shopping center. The problem is that a new trend is being created in terms of stealing this type of device from these places.

An anonymous source has told Betech, In cities like Madrid, the theft of laptops in the car parks of shopping center areas or department stores is becoming fashionable. The modus operandi is that the thieves carry some type of signal detector with which they manage to know that in this or that vehicle there is a laptop. If the signal is positive, they force the car to steal it, sometimes wildly, or sometimes with frequency devices if the vehicle’s lock is electronic. And it doesn’t matter if you hide it under a blanket in the trunk, they also discover it.

Telefónica internal alert to its employees

The source has told us that in companies like Telefónica there have been an internal recommendation alerting its employees not to leave their laptops in the trunks when they go to a shopping center before or after work.

What type of detector do criminals use? This is unknown, but an article from Wired magazine of the year 2019 echoed a type of portable Bluetooth signal scanner that was being used to detect signals coming from cars, something that can even be done with a mobile app and the internal bluetooth that smartphones of all kinds have.

There are researchers who did not believe the detectors, but several police officers confirmed to Wired that there are cases of thieves who have used these bluetooth scanners to commit robberies.

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