Man charged, police investigate group suspected of cloning keys to steal cars

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Law enforcement agencies are investigating suspects who are using a device and software to clone keys to steal cars in several states, including in the Kansas City metro.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Deavalique Hyler with three felony counts of tampering with a motor vehicle. Hyler was charged with those counts in two separate criminal cases. During a search of a stolen vehicle Hyler was accused of driving, police said they found a bundle of keys that are consistent with keys obtained from a dealership or business.

According to court documents, Kansas City police recovered stolen Dodge, Ford and other new or current model vehicles near 39th and Benton Blvd in Kansas City. Investigators believe some vehicles were stolen from transport companies and dealerships while others were stolen from car owners who still had their car keys.

“This same group is suspected of utilizing a device with software that is used to clone keys. Suspects utilize this software to boost a vehicle’s key fob signal, tricking the security mechanism on the car into thinking the key fob is closer to it,” court records stated. “Once the signal is jumped, entry is gained to the vehicle and it can be started.”

According to a probable cause statement, Hyler is an active suspect in multiple stolen auto cases a few months apart from each other.

Similar Crimes

In a suburb of Chicago, Jawuan Bishop’s security camera captured thieves breaking a rear window on his vehicle. The surveillance video then showed the suspects pushing the Dodge Charger down the street to try to reprogram a key. Bishop’s stolen vehicle was recovered.

In Michigan, thieves are accused of using cloned key fobs to steal cars directly from dealerships. Investigators discovered stolen new Chargers, Challengers, Durangos and Ram pickups were being found in Ohio, Indianapolis, and East Coast shipping ports, according to a criminal complaint.

Deterring car thefts

There are steps drivers can take to try to prevent car thefts. If possible, park inside a garage or well-lit location. Security experts suggest choosing multiple anti-theft devices that are designed to make your vehicle more difficult to steal and easier to track to recover including installing steering wheel locks, brake locks, audible alarms, GPS tracking, vehicle-tilt and glass-break sensors or hidden kill switches.

Anti-theft software upgrades

If you drive a KIA, or Hyundai law enforcement and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest you check to see if there is an anti-theft software upgrade available for your vehicle.

Hyundai vehicle owners can visit here or call 1-800-633-5151. KIA vehicle owners can call 1-800-333-4542 for more information.

In 2021, Dodge announced the company developed three new security measures that are available for certain models including an Enhanced Security Mode, Key Programming Lockdown and Intrusion Module. For more information visit here.

ALSO READ: Thefts prompt 17 states to urge recall of Kia, Hyundai cars