It is said that thievery is one of the oldest professions in the world. In truth, these criminals are quite clever and they are always looking for novel ways to fool people. Many analysts believe that the tricks and methods they use are as varied as the victims themselves.
As soon as one way is thwarted, another one soon pops up. One of the latest (and most deceptively simple) traps involves the use of a few simple coins. Let's take a closer look at how a tiny sliver of metal may very well equate to a stolen car or worse.
Using the Mechanics of a Car Door Against the Owner
The first method is very common. All that is required will be a small coin such as a penny or a dime (in the United States) or a five-cent euro (in the European Union). The theory is as simple as it is dangerous. A thief will approach the car when the driver is getting out of the vehicle. The handle of the passenger door is then lifted slightly.
The coin is slipped between the handle and the door. Some analysts state that this action disables the central locking mechanism of the vehicle. In other words, the computer is fooled into thinking that the door is ajar. The driver will leave; completely unaware of what has just taken place. The thief will simply open the door, steal what is inside or even try to start the car itself and drive away.
More Than Vehicular Theft Alone
The second method is more insidious and dangerous. A thief will sandwich a coin between the driver's side door handle and the door. He or she then waits in the distance and out of public sight. When the driver returns to the vehicle and attempts to open the door, the coin falls to the floor. Most will hear this sound and naturally bend over to take a closer look. It is at this time of vulnerability that the thief will approach.
Although an assault is certainly possible, it is more likely that this unscrupulous individual will instead grab a purse, a package, a mobile phone or any other valuable item that is within easy reach. The thief will then flee before the victim has the time to process what has just taken place. As you may have already suspected, the majority of those fooled tend to be women. Thieves believe that they are less likely to fight back or initiate a pursuit.
Truth or Fiction?
Although this coin rumour has been circulating around the Internet for some time, we have to ask if there is any validity behind such claims. Some state that modern vehicles cannot be fooled by this rather simple ruse. The main reason is that on nearly every car door, the handle can be partially opened without actually tripping the unlocking mechanism.
Therefore, coins will simply not be wide enough to leave the vehicle unlocked. Secondly, modern systems alert the driver if a door is ajar before he or she leaves and most alarm systems will not activate. These are two sure signs that something is amiss.
Caution Still Needed
Although the first method of theft has been partially debunked, let us keep in mind that thieves can and will take advantage of someone who is distracted (such as hearing a coin drop and looking for the source of the sound). Therefore, the second scenario is more likely to occur.
Whether you are a man or a woman, please keep these dangers in mind and share them with your friends. A bit of awareness can go a long way and should a thief notice that the driver is cognisant of the surroundings, he or she is likely to look elsewhere for prey.