WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) – – Thieves broke into nine vehicles outside of a Wilton Manors apartment complex, but residents said only the owner’s manuals were stolen.

Wilton Manors Police said the burglaries took place along the 2000 block of Northeast Fifth Avenue between 3 and 5 a.m., Monday.
However, residents said the crooks were only after a specific item: their vehicles’ operating manuals.
“I don’t know what to think of it, to be honest with you. It’s very strange,” victim Gary Sikorski said.
Sikorski and his neighbors woke up to find only the passenger side windows were shattered.

Thieves break into 9 vehicles in Wilton Manors — but only take owner’s manuals

These re not your average roaming suckers. Apparently this gang has its aim set much higher than change in the cup holders.

Police said some manuals can contain identification numbers that thieves will try to use to make a new key, and therefore can steal the car.
Some drivers keep important paperwork, such as their vehicle registration, inside of the manual.

My now very old truck came with an emergency plastic key tucked inside the owner’s manual that was supposed to be used in case I lost my regular keys. Since IO have this weird thing that I do not lose keys, I simply tossed it somewhere inside a closet and never gave a thought about it.

I am at a loss as of why they would need the registration paperwork. IKt would be an annoyance to have it lost and go get a copy, but I simply do not know what a thief could do with it. But I did not know you could get copy of the key made with info from the manual. I did know a properly accredited locksmith could do so with the VIN number of the car.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

10 thoughts on “Car Break-Ins: Another Angle.”
  1. That seems odd to me. Every vehicle I’ve owned, had the VIN visible from the windshield. Maybe the paperwork many of us toss into the manual’s folder has the key code or something.

    My first thought was a scavenger hunt, maybe for gang initiation or something.

  2. With the registration and VIN (which is on the insurance card) you can order a full set of replacement keys and clickers from the factory. A mechanic or dealer can do this, so just find a gang member with a cousin who works at a body shop and you’re in.

    Or you can bribe a city official and have a title transfer done and make the car legally yours.

    1. ^^ This ^^ is kind of what I was thinking. Steal the owner’s manual (and possibly the registration), record the VIN, and locksmiths and dealers will tend to assume that if you have the VIN and manual, that you own the car. Then you can order “replacement” keys/clickers on-demand.

      Once you have keys/clickers in hand, you can go back — after the owners have repaired the broken windows, of course — and steal the whole car without breaking anything else.

      1. I’ve never lost any keys, either, but I have had them wear out, and in the case of a “new” (to me) ’88 BMW I bought last month, it has 2nd or 3rd generation copied keys that perform poorly, thus I am going to get factory keys cut from the dealer when the title comes in.

    1. But if you’re still making payments, you don’t have the title. Last time I paid off a car (2015?), the state didn’t even want to send me a paper copy. I had to pay for a paper title.

      Don’t they have to pay cash, like a couple of hundred$, to get the electronic keys even with that?

      Can’t say the whole thing about stealing the owner’s manuals makes all that much sense to me, but if they could get keys with the title and a phone camera shot of the VIN, that comes close.

      1. Ah, I see how the “still making payments” angle could be an issue, but in that case, if you’re financing from the manufacturer, there’s likely other proof of your legal possession of the car.

        Why would you need a phone shot of the VIN if you have the title in hand?

  3. Tesla allows you to set a PIN on the car, so that even a stolen key won’t suffice to drive it away. Neat.

    On requiring a title to get a key made: how does that work for cars old enough that the state doesn’t issue a title? (in NH, 10 years)

  4. My brother in law worked at a jeep dealership when I got married. I drove a 99 cherokee. He got the vin and had a key made for it so he could do the decorate-the-groom’s-car thing. I was still cleaning out glitter when I sold it 6 years later.

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