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Old 10-20-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
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2010 Jeep stolen- thieves bypassed Sentry Key

I want to warn my fellow Jeep lovers: don't rely on the factory installed Sentry Key system to protect your Jeep.

Yesterday my 2010 Wrangler Rubicon 2-door was stolen from a busy college parking lot in San Diego. I had a tracking system that sends me a text if my car gets within 10 miles of the Mexican border. I received that message and called 911 immediately. I simultaneously logged into my tracking system and saw my Jeep was traveling 77 miles per hour toward Mexico. Highway Patrol was dispatched, but there was nothing they could do. I watched in helpless frustration as my beloved Jeep crossed the border into the "Land of No Return."

Lots of Wranglers are being stolen from San Diego, so two weeks ago I called my Jeep dealer's service dept. and asked the manager if they could install a kill switch. He assured me I already have the best kind, a Sentry key, and he assured me nobody can steal my Jeep without a flatbed truck. He was wrong. My tracking device report shows the engine was started at 1:58 p.m. and it ran continuously all the way to Mexico. So much for the fuel pump shutoff.

The cops told me the thieves can now bypass these electronic systems, including Onstar. I was advised to install hidden manual kill switches instead.

And by the way, the tracking device continued to work in Mexico. After much effort and recollection of my high school Spanish, I was able to reach a Tijuana dispatcher willing to help me. She dispatched cops to the address I gave her. A half hour later she called to inform me my Jeep was recovered by the police and they had three suspects in custody. Then suddenly my tracking device was disconnected. It appears one of the Mexican policemen saw that beautiful, nearly new Jeep and said, "Dibs!" They now say they're holding my Jeep as evidence in a criminal trial.

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Old 10-20-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. My friend had Onstar, and was tracked into Mexico. Talking to the Onstar Rep, they said they could see it on their GPS and see where it was, but because it internation boundaries, could not do anything about it. Needless to say, we all dropped our Onstar subscriptions and will not be working with them.

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Old 10-20-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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Wow, just wow! I would have logged off. No way I coulda sat there knowing where it was and not explode
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #4
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Wow! Sorry to hear it man(edit: girl) . Mexican law says that they can hold a vehicle indefinitely sadly.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Yeah, it was tough to watch my Jeep get closer and closer to Mexico and not be able to do anything about it. I was just hoping the thieves would stop somewhere before crossing. I was on the phone with 911 the whole time, ready to direct the American cops directly to their location. Unfortunately, they didn't stop until they got to Tijuana.

Turns out there was nothing anybody could do, even if we'd had more time. I was told this morning that American border guards aren't allowed to stop ANY cars going into Mexico, even the ones they know are stolen or contain wanted criminals. (Some kind of international law violation.) And when American authorities try to get Mexican border guards to stop a fleeing criminal from their side, they just laugh at the idea and wave him on through!

I also found out that U.S. cops can't stop the thieves once they're on an interstate. So even if I alerted the authorities when my car was 20 or 30 miles from the border, when the cops catch up to a stolen car and order it to pull over, the thieves just laugh and keep on going, knowing the CHP's are powerless to stop them from reaching the border where their compatriots will wave them on through!
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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This makes me sick. I am very sorry for your loss.

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Old 10-20-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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I'm really sick about what happened to your TJ, Mexico is where mine ended up as well. Good luck getting it back, many Mexican cops aren't exactly trustworthy.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:12 AM   #8
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Alohagirl.. I am very sorry for your loss. I don't know that I could of watched my baby like that. I would of been pissed enough just getting it taken... but to watch!!! I've always thought about putting a fuel cut off switch in my rig, now there is no doubt its going in and soon.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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I hope your insurance will replace it.. this is depressing
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:45 AM   #10
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I'm the same way though I live a ways from the border. I'm putting a manual keylock kill switch on the power cable to the starter. "No Startee..No thievee". Call me paranoid but I don't trust anyone especially with today's technology hackers. I go off on a roadtrip to an out of the way motel, I'll duck under the frame and disconnect that puppy.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:00 AM   #11
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The above enlightening news that the SKIM security system can now be bypassed has accelerated my plans to install a small hidden on-off switch to disable the ASD (auto shut down) relay.

By the way, my own theory on bypassing the SKIM system is that the thieves are probably not actually bypassing the SKIM system... I still don't believe that can be done. My theory is they are just installing new PCMs (engine computers) without the SKIM system. That can be done in about 1 minute. I saw that on a car theft program a few months ago. Thieves would target a vehicle and then buy a replacement PCM to install to enable the vehicle theft.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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Dont live in San Diego...

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Old 10-21-2011, 10:21 AM   #13
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I take back what I posted...
I'm sorry for what happened to you. I assume you had comprehensive coverage on your Jeep since you probably have a lien on it?
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
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Wow! That really sucks!

I had lojack on my last car and actually forgot to negotiate to have it moved to my new car, but figured the built in security would be ok. Guess I should've tried harder to get my lojack moved.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:30 PM   #15
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Thanks for the sympathy. I sure didn't get any from the people who are supposed to protect life and property. (Silly me, I thought that's what we pay taxes for.)

And yes, I had comprehensive coverage from State Farm, but my Rubicon was ordered from the factory with side airbags plus other options, and I had to wait months for it. The last time I saw my baby, she was in perfect condition with only 9,000 miles. I won't be able to walk into a dealership and buy another like her, especially since I'll only be reimbursed for the value of a 2010.

This really sucks. So I have to keep reminding myself I've lost a car, not one of my kids.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:26 PM   #16
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That sucks.!! That is why I'm looking for an insurance company that will insure the extra parts. You pay a bit more for it but it will cover upgraded parts.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:08 PM   #17
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Picked this up today. It's a touch switch, you just tap it to turn it on/off. It will be going in the jeep as a ignition interlock tomorrow
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:17 AM   #18
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What tracking system did you have?
And what does it mean if your factory alarm honks when you unlock? The other day it beeped at me as I unlocked it. I walked around and saw nothing wrong but I'm nervous it was because the alarm triggered overnight and my jeep might be targeted.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohagirl
I want to warn my fellow Jeep lovers: don't rely on the factory installed Sentry Key system to protect your Jeep.

Yesterday my 2010 Wrangler Rubicon 2-door was stolen from a busy college parking lot in San Diego. I had a tracking system that sends me a text if my car gets within 10 miles of the Mexican border. I received that message and called 911 immediately. I simultaneously logged into my tracking system and saw my Jeep was traveling 77 miles per hour toward Mexico. Highway Patrol was dispatched, but there was nothing they could do. I watched in helpless frustration as my beloved Jeep crossed the border into the "Land of No Return."

Lots of Wranglers are being stolen from San Diego, so two weeks ago I called my Jeep dealer's service dept. and asked the manager if they could install a kill switch. He assured me I already have the best kind, a Sentry key, and he assured me nobody can steal my Jeep without a flatbed truck. He was wrong. My tracking device report shows the engine was started at 1:58 p.m. and it ran continuously all the way to Mexico. So much for the fuel pump shutoff.

The cops told me the thieves can now bypass these electronic systems, including Onstar. I was advised to install hidden manual kill switches instead.

And by the way, the tracking device continued to work in Mexico. After much effort and recollection of my high school Spanish, I was able to reach a Tijuana dispatcher willing to help me. She dispatched cops to the address I gave her. A half hour later she called to inform me my Jeep was recovered by the police and they had three suspects in custody. Then suddenly my tracking device was disconnected. It appears one of the Mexican policemen saw that beautiful, nearly new Jeep and said, "Dibs!" They now say they're holding my Jeep as evidence in a criminal trial.
Didja get another jeep yet?
I'm sure the next one will be just as good ;-)
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:34 PM   #20
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Sorry bout your loss. I'd hate to see that happen to my jeep and my jeep is a rust bucket compared to what you had.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohagirl View Post
I want to warn my fellow Jeep lovers: don't rely on the factory installed Sentry Key system to protect your Jeep.

:
Boy I guess, A while back, I was in a tire shop to get a couple of new tires on my 99 TJ, and noticed the tire dude had gotten into a 2011 JK that was parked next to mine, I found out that my 99 key unlocked and started the 2011 JK with no problem, so much for security.

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Old 10-31-2011, 05:12 AM   #22
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I was thinking of installing something like this with a hidden switch. Cuts off fuel. No Fuel...No Dirve.

Economy Electric Fuel Shut-Off Valve
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kauka View Post
I was thinking of installing something like this with a hidden switch. Cuts off fuel. No Fuel...No Dirve.

Economy Electric Fuel Shut-Off Valve
That would definitely make it more difficult, but a lot of the time they just tow the car away. Not much you can do there.

I guess make sure you have full coverage insurance...
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:18 PM   #24
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True... if someone really wants your jeep they are going to get it and there is nothing you can do. But the fuel shut off will make it harder.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:25 PM   #25
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To answer Merlin's question, the tracking device I had was called "In Touch MVC." I paid a monthly fee to have it monitored 24/7 and the readings stored in a database which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device.

And no, I haven't replaced my Jeep yet. State Farm's Mexican liaison is still hopeful he can get it back from the cops. In what condition, we don't know yet.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:44 AM   #26
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Any update? Got it back yet?
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #27
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OMG! Freakin unbelievable! I'd still be cryin'!
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:50 AM   #28
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I know! It sux!!! I'm from Tijuana btw but don't hate me, I don't steal cars (or do I) jk
OMG I hope u got it back!
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #29
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Would of been nice if the monitoring tool could of cut the power or fuel remotely. I think OnStar has that feature but not on the Jeep.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:26 AM   #30
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UPDATE: I got my Jeep back!!!

Sorry I didn't update sooner. I didn't realize anybody was still watching this thread.

Yep, I got her back, but it took a while. Apparently, the State cops were fighting the Federal cops over which of them would get to keep my Jeep! In the end, State Farm's Mexican liaison convinced them to give it back.

It wasn't in bad shape, all things considered. The car thieves had only broken the passenger door lock and ripped open the steering column. But while it sat for three weeks in a Tijuana impound lot, other thieves stole everything that wasn't nailed down, like floor mats, owner's manual, even the cover to the jack compartment. (WTH are they going to do with that?!!) And the dash was damaged where they tried unsuccessfully to pry out the factory installed stereo/navigation system.

After spending three more weeks at the local dealership, she's good as new...almost. Even after professional detailing and shampooing, there's this funky smell, like a wet dog. It's not too bad though, only noticeable when the Jeep's been sitting closed up for a few days.

The day I got it back I had it outfitted with the best security system I could find starting with hood locks, which should be every Jeep owner's first line of defense. The first thing these thieves did was lift the hood and pull the horn wire, instantly neutralizing the factory-installed alarm. After that, they can punch out the door lock and take their time bypassing the rest of the Sentry system. Even in a busy college parking lot with regular security patrols, nobody heard or saw a thing. (It kills me to know that a simple $30 pair of hood locks would have made those thieves ignore my Jeep and pick an easier target.)

I also got additional kill switches, interior sensors (for when the top's off), tilt sensors (so they can't quietly pull it onto a flatbed), 1-mile paging key fob, plus automatic arming in case I forget.

Yeah, all that security cost a small fortune, BUT THEY'RE NOT GETTING MY BABY AGAIN!!!

Alohagirl
P.S. To people who ask, "Why go to all that trouble to protect your Jeep when you have good insurance?" I reply, "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand."

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