Tracker...How easy to disable?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Security' started by Arzedby, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Arzedby

    Arzedby Funster

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    Picking up our new van tomorrow and have had a warm feeling of security knowing that it has a good Immobilizer, Alarm and Tracking System. However, today I was watching one of those crime programs with Dominic Littlewood that was looking at tracking down stolen Heavy Plant and Machinery. The issue they were having was that the thieves were stealing high value machinery to order and although they had Trackers fitted, these were being located and removed before the machinery was then moved. They eventually tracked down the gang after some machinery had been planted with a second tracker secreted on it which was not looked for once the gang had found and removed the original tracker.
    My question therefore is: How easy is it for a thief to locate the tracker and remove it from a Motor home? I have never had a vehicle of any kind with a Tracker fitted before and I have no idea how large they are, where they are likely to be fitted in the van and if found how easy they would be to remove.
    Has anyone ever had a Tracker disabled?
     
  2. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    I have heard that some use a scanner to find them and others jam them somehow.
     
  3. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    I am not sure how long it takes, but they have to be inside whilst the alarm is going. If you had a growler they may well be deaf before they find it. I hope. :LOL::LOL:(y)
     
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  4. Deneb

    Deneb Funster

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    Whilst they're moving it, they may use a signal blocking device. They might then park it up somewhere for a few days to see if it attracts any attention. They won't know if it has a tracker or not unless you advertise the fact somewhere on the van, which I would suggest is not a good idea.

    On a lot of high end recovered stolen cars that I see, certain areas of the interiors have often been ripped out by the thieves looking for a tracking device. The problem with cars is that there are very few places where the fitters actually locate them, and the thieves seem to know the areas to look for them.

    There are a lot more places to hide one on a motorhome though.
     
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  5. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    The savvy car thieves have a bit of kit that picks up the frequency that the tracker omits ,finding it's location easily !
    Everything a good car thief needs can be easily bought on ebay if you know what to look for.If they want it they'll get it .



    Vlad
     
  6. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    As Vlad says... There is a bit of kit for everything, almost everything works off a radio signal and can be blocked or found if required.. :(
     
  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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  8. Lorryman100

    Lorryman100 Funster

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    A genuine Tracker unit such as the locate system is pretty hard to jam mainly because the over the counter jammers you can buy are for GPS/GSM only systems. The tracker has both of these plus a VHF transmitter which is harder to jam with the main down side being range. According to tracker all ports are fitted with tracker receivers to alert them if a stolen vehicle passes by them. The police have some of their traffic cars and helicopters fitted with tracker receivers which come to life once in range of the transmitting tracker and using on board direction finding they can narrow in on the vehicle by bracketing an area watching the signal strength. The system is not perfect but is better than the stand alone and cheaper GPS/GSM units out there.
    I own a Landrover defender which is one of the most stolen vehicles in the UK and defenders have been stolen and never seen again when fitted with the stand alone GSM/GPS system with the odd one being found ( source Landywatch.co.uk). The tracker system seems to find the stupid thief's but not the clever ones so its a case of paying your money for what you think is the best system for you. As to where to hide the system? Without giving too much away the unit is the size of a 20 fag packet and is coloured black to look like any other piece of plastic you may find under the dash. It will have a power lead and up to 2 aerials GPS/VHF which are hidden under the roof lining above the windscreen. So on a road going vehicle most are fitted under the dash somewhere and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to find it. On a motorhome there is literally hundreds of places a small unit could be secreted out of the way that would require a strip down to find so it would come down to the ingenuity of the fitter. I know of a couple of individuals who fitted a cheap as chip GSM/GPS tracker that was easy to find so much so the thief's thought they had found the tracker and didn't bother to look any deeper, if they had they would have found the Tracker Locate system which got their Defenders returned to them albeit with some steering column and door lock damage. JMTW (y)
     
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  9. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    You are missing the point trackers can be located and removed ,the fact that it operates on a VHF frequency means that Jo blogs may not find it easy but the tech savvy lot will
    I'm led to believe that a VHF frequency can be jammed as well as located if need be .



    Vlad
     
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  10. Lorryman100

    Lorryman100 Funster

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    Anything fitted to a vehicle can be removed given enough time, ingenuity to delay the thief, to make him think it is not worth the risk and to look elsewhere is the only defence. Point is that if you have a well hidden tracker fitted you have half a chance of getting it back compared to not having one fitted. If you buy a 60k plus motorhome most insurance companies I got a quote from required a tracker system fitted for them to give cover and to pay out in the event of a theft claim.
    Yes VHF frequencies can be jammed, as long as you know what frequency to jam, VHF frequencies 30Mhz - 300Mhz giving
    At the end of the day (including the FBI and Apple saga) given the right set of conditions, time etc I would think most things can be overcome, in my view the trick is to make it as hard as possible to steal my vehicles and that includes pedal locks, steering wheel disc locks to unauthorised OBDII software flashing and the fitting of BBUS in several locations out with the normal locations. But at the end of the day no matter what you have fitted if they want it badly enough they will take it. (y)
     
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  11. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I'm afraid all you can really do is fit the best tracker and alarm system you can afford ( or are required to fit) including disabling devices, as above, and make sure you have good insurance.
    A device to stop your catalytic converter being stolen is also a good idea.
     
  12. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    I agree totally ,however as a working man with a family I'm a lottery win or a hidden inheritance payout away from having to pay for a useless item on a 60 k motorhome that my future insurers may want !
    On the other hand my brotherin-law being a fully qualified electrical engineer specialising in VHS ,GPS ,GSM and all things that I can't even understand,tells me that I'm wasting my time worrying about what. may happen to my pride and joy ,because if they want it I don't want whats left back !
    I hear all the time about various alarms that are the mutts nuts and that will wake the dead ,however such systems were designed by humans and can be cracked by humans ,if not they could just follow you and nick your handbag containing your key fob and then what ?
    You'd get accused of careless with your keys and because your keys had been used your insurance would try to wriggle out no doubt !



    Ps


    Mrs Vlad works for an insurance company and advises me that if you have an alarm and it's not on when you get turned over it's your loss ,if it's faulty it's your loss .
    basically your better off without one!


    Vlad
     
  13. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    I'd say you're netter off with one... and a tracker... and some nice non techy physical security. Oh yeah .. keep your keys safe too.
    If you take reasonable precautions then youre unlikely to have your van stolen.
    On the other hand... no alarm, immobiliser or physical security and keys hanging in the hall while you're out . ..
    Its all well and good saying "if they want it they will take it"
    It's more "if you don't really bother too much then you might lose it"
    There are obvious exceptions such as the BMW issues with data sockets/key making but even then .. physical security can stop them.
     
  14. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    trackers are easy enough to detect and kill. the best security is the simplest. anything though can be overcome given time if the vehicle is loaded onto a lorry and driven inside a metal clad building

    my favourite is to interrupt the fuel system electricals or the ecu with a concealed switch. takes an hour for a decent auto electrician and £5 of parts. would take a determined thief ages to work out and bypass
     
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  15. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    My quickest "Theft" for MMM was under 20 seconds from getting in the Motorhome to starting it lol
     
  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Buy one and have it delivered will likely get you nicked. Serious offence just to own one

    Even if anyone uses one to attempt to cloak a modern tacking system, the Tracker will report in every time it goes by the infinitely stronger signal from a phone mast, which will swamp the jammer

    However, it's academic as unfortunately, if the Insurance company insist on a Tracking device as a condition of insurance, you have to have one installed.

    Also not all tracking devices use GSM, as some contact satellite communication equipment in space, and others like our "Non Starter" systems won't start unless they relieve a phone message from the owners phone, so are even more effective if a "Jammer" was bought, the recipient wasn't arrested;) and stupidly tried to steal a Motorhome with one of our systems fitted:)
     
  17. 606060

    606060 Funster

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    Not all security systems need communication to stop you vehicle being stolen in the first place. Jammers and Blockers are the least of your worry. Thatcham 5,6 and 7 are being scrapped this year because of the threat of electronic theft, read my blog for more information. http://www.606060.com/blog-1-w.asp
     
  18. ceejayt

    ceejayt Funster Life Member

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    I can probably accept that any system can ultimately be beaten but it's also down to what the thief is up against when they try. I have a growler with tracker, immobiliser, devils wail etc. So how long would it take...

    First of all, they have to disarm the growler alarm without setting it off - if it goes off my phone is ringing, I may be close, I may not be but they don't know that.

    So, maybe I am a long way away AND they disarmed the growler, they also have to beat my electronic door entry on the van. They do that, they are in - no doubt they can hotwire the ignition - but wait, they find the vehicle still won't start, it's immobilised and I just got another call from the motorhome - if that were the second call, one for the alarm and then again from the immobiliser then I am pretty mobilised myself to find out what is going on?

    They jam the tracker, they find and somehow disable the immobiliser, they start the engine and presumably they are gone.

    How long did that all take? Not a 5 minute job for sure, 15 minutes? 30 minutes? And of they didn't disable the alarm then I hope they had some serious ear plugs for all that time they were in the vehicle.

    They are probably more likely to ransack the vehicle and take all the goodies they can find and beat a hasty retreat.

    I guess I am lucky because there aren't many motorhomes of my model and type, it wouldn't be a steal to order item and it would be very difficult to move on unless you took it outside of Europe otherwise it is going to show up somewhere.

    To be honest, whilst I wouldn't do this, I am pretty sure if I left the keys on the ignition the van would still be there when I got back to it.
     
  19. Deneb

    Deneb Funster

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    ceejayt, you have an alarm and immobiliser that are not connected through the CAN bus, so you are off to a good start. OEM manufacturer's alarm systems are normally disabled by unlocking of the doors, so if the door lock is compromised the alarm is also disabled at the same time. Yours won't be, which is one reason I like the Vanbitz system.

    I would recommend that everyone also uses some form of physical security, such as a steering wheel lock, pedal box etc. It's all about making the thief think that there are easier pickings elsewhere, so why bother with you. Of course if they specifically want your vehicle over and above any other, they can probably steal it, but the costs and effort might be disproportionate to the reward.

    Electronic compromise is real and has overtaken key burglary as the most common method of vehicle theft for some types of vehicles. You may have seen posts about Ford Transit thefts on various forums. Lock picks for the manufacturers door and ignition locks are easily obtained if you know where to look, and with practice can open a door in less than 15 seconds. The thief brings with him an electronic device that either simulates or programmes a new key into the immobiliser system on the vehicle, which typically takes another 10-15 seconds after plugging it into the diagnostic port, and he's away.

    How have we got into this mess? Well, customers don't want to pay the vehicle manufacturers for a new key if they lose one, they want something cheaper. The same with servicing and general repairs. The EU therefore mandated that vehicle manufacturers have to make vehicle information available to third party suppliers and repairers under anti-competition preventative legislation, which has allowed unscrupulous parties to get their hands on the information that allows them to reverse engineer systems intended to keep them out.

    Get a good alarm and immobiliser and use additional layers of aftermarket physical security would be my advice.
     
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  20. ceejayt

    ceejayt Funster Life Member

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    Funnily enough I am planning on getting one of these whilst at Peterborough - my wife wants one to help her get in and out and it doubles as physical security.
     
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