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High-Tech Thieves Use New Gadget To Gain Keyless Access To Vehicles In Long Beach

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LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying three tech-savvy criminals wanted for a series of car burglaries in which they used an unknown device to gain keyless entry to vehicles.

The men are accused of breaking into seven vehicles in an East Long Beach neighborhood on the night of Feb. 26, according to Long Beach police.

The suspects were caught on surveillance using small handled devices that caused “the vehicle’s dome light to come on and doors to unlock,” Det. Joseph Starbird said in a news release.

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Police believe there could be several other victims who were also burglarized without their knowledge.

The LBPD’s Auto Theft Detail has been working with law enforcement agencies nationally and internationally, as well as vehicle manufacturers, to identify the type of technology being used.

Thus far, no agency or company has been able to identify the device.

“This is a situation where technology is working against us, making our job much more challenging at a time where resources are already strained. Just as law enforcement tactics evolve, so does the criminal element’s and we need the community’s involvement more so than ever,” stated Chief Jim McDonnell.

Police recommend residents remove valuables and extra keys from vehicles and install motion lights outside of their homes.

Anyone with information on the suspects or their identity should contact Det. Starbird at (562)570-7362. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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