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Guide to Antitheft Devices

Car Alarm Systems

Known in the industry as "nuisance alarms”, car alarms are usually ignored and are actually outlawed in some major cities, including New York. The remote control keyless entry capability included with most alarm systems is a great option to have, but the system is useless for security. A remote control alarm system only interrupts the starter wire, and this can easily be bypassed by a thief under the dash in a matter of seconds. Alarms can be overcome by a code grabber or scanner box used legitimately by roadside assistance companies to bypass the alarm when a customer has locked their keys in their vehicle. Unfortunately, any thief can buy a code grabber or scanner on the internet for about $100. Even the systems that claim to have anti-scan or code grabbing technology can still be defeated, as demonstrated on CBS' The Early Show and 48 Hours. Also, it can be difficult to find a new battery if the remote transmitter battery dies, and you cannot get the vehicle started until you replace it. Dealers push alarm systems to make more money. RAVELCO provides better protection.

Vehicle Tracking Systems

Although they sound good on paper, these costly systems are not very effective. They come into play only after the vehicle has been stolen, as reported by the Boston Police Department, the city in which the idea originated. By the time the victim reports their vehicle stolen, (which is usually the next day) it has already been stripped and dumped. If the owner of the stolen vehicle is lucky, the thief will not have found and removed the tracking transponder while stripping the vehicle and the tracking system will lead the police to the abandoned shell of the vehicle. Nowadays though, the thieves are finding, removing and throwing out the tracking transponder. Sadly, law enforcement officers continue to track the signal thinking it is coming from the stolen vehicle when actually it leads them to a trash dumpster in a back alley somewhere! These systems are not available in all areas, and they are not very practical in big cities. Furthermore, they are expensive ($595 and up) and some even require a monthly monitoring fee. Many people in the security industry call the system "after the fact jack" rather than LoJack. General Motors offers a system called the "On Star System," these systems are easily defeated by the thief breaking the antenna off of the roof of the vehicle. RAVELCO provides better protection.

Manufacturer Factory Installed Systems - Vehicle Immobilizers

GM-PASSlock II; Ford-SecuriLock; Chrysler-SentryKey; Toyota-Engine Immobilizer
These transponder based anti theft systems consist of a miniature transponder imbedded in the ignition key head. When the key is inserted into the ignition a radio frequency is transmitted to the key. This energizes the transponder which replies with an ID number. If the ID is recognized by the on-board computer, the ignition and starting system is enabled. If access is attempted without the correct code, critical systems (ignition, starter) remain inoperable. These systems are factory installed on almost all new GM, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota vehicles at no charge, but they are very easy to bypass. A product called the "No Key Required Bypass Kit" can be used to bypass the transponder key system in any vehicle made. Without this product, all a thief has to do is cut the black wire in the three wire ribbon cable located under the dash, measure the resistance between the black wire and the yellow starter wire with a volt meter, then touch the two wires with the matching resistor and the vehicle will start. This sounds complicated, but it only takes about 20 seconds. Recently, a national automotive magazine actually published information on how to bypass these systems. Despite what salespeople may say, a factory-installed system is not enough to secure your vehicle. RAVELCO provides better protection.

Remote Starters

These devices offer convenient for starting your car and warming it up in the winter and cooling it off in the summer, but please do not think these systems are secure. Once again, there is absolutely no security at all with these devices. They can all be sta regardless of make with a "Code Grabber" in seconds.

Immobilizer Type Devices

The Immobilizer name is used by many different anti theft device companies around the world. Many foreign car companies install this system as standard equipment on their vehicles. This system consists of a resistor or tiny radio transmitter imbedded in the ignition key and sends a signal to a receiver in the steering column, much like the GM, FORD and CHRYSLER systems just discussed in paragraph 3. A variation of this system involves the use of a plug, rather than an imbedded chip in the ignition key, but all are connected under the dash and all are very easy to locate and bypass. The wires used for these systems do not have any armor cable or security covering to protect or conceal them, making it easy for a thief to locate the wires, reconnect them, and steal the vehicle in a matter of seconds. Some of these systems claim to interrupt as many as 4 different circuits, but it does not matter how many circuits you interrupt . . . if you can easily reconnect them under the dash. Don’t be fooled by false claims that these companies make. Many vehicles have been stolen that were equipped with this device!

Touch Sensors

These devices hook up to the starter wire under the dash. An existing part of the vehicle, such as the cruise control button, the high beam lever, the wiper switch or even a radio knob, becomes the trigger for this device. The driver has to touch this "secret switch" in order to start the vehicle. These devices all work in conjunction with relays that continuously burn up due to the high amperage from the starter wire to which they are connected. Most of them even have a toggle switch, that allows a person to override the system. Car thieves are not at all deterred by these devices.

Flat Plug Devices

These devices are all mounted below the dash. The connections are very simple to make and only go to each end of the starter wire beneath the dash. The more sophisticated models include a red flashing light . . . which has nothing at all to do with the device's ability to deter theft. It is merely a red light that either blinks or burns continuously. Car thieves can overcome these devices in seconds by using a jumper wire or even with an "old fashioned" hat pin, simply by sticking it through one wire and into the other. They typically have a maximum of six different combinations and most car dealers use the same combination on every vehicle they sell. These systems are cheap, which enables some car dealers to install them on every vehicle in stock and try to sell their vehicles at a higher price. If a customer balks and does not want to pay for it, the dealer simply inserts a chip that will override the system. Dealers also know that these systems often result in problems . . . and customer complaints. There have been dozens of companies that manufacture flat plug devices, most of them have gone out of business already and the remaining few have just about run their course.

The Club

Widely advertised, this device is probably the best known anti theft product on the market today. But as demonstrated on CBS' American Journal, a car thief using a hacksaw can cut through the vehicle's steering wheel and remove The Club in just 22 seconds! The program also demonstrated how a thief can spray "freon" into the locking mechanism of The Club, hit the now - frozen lock with a hammer, and shatter it like glass, enabling him to remove The Club. In addition, there is a device called the Club Buster, which will break The Club and AutoLock devices in 60 seconds. The Club Buster is intended for locksmiths, tow truck operators, and auto repossession professionals, but any thief can buy it over the internet right now for $93.

Keypad Systems

These systems connect to the starter wire under the dash. They can be defeated in seconds by locating the brain box of the keypad,which usually is wire-tied or taped to the steering column under the dash and then touching the two contacts with a jumper wire.

Remote Starter Kills

Many Car Dealers promote this type of device because it is very - very easy to install and the dealer can charge up to $499 for it. The customer will never know the difference and will think that they are getting top security for their dollar. This device comes with a remote control and a special re-worked starter relay that replaces the factory starter relay in your vehicle's power distribution box. The power distribution box is very easy to access directly under the hood of the vehicle, all you have to do is to lift the cover of the box pull out the relay, replace it with any factory relay (cost $2) and drive the vehicle off. Again, the remote control on this device can be scanned and bypassed with a scanner box very easily in seconds.

Steering Column Collars

Now nearly obsolete, these devices are worthless in terms of theft protection. All a thief has to do is reach below the dash; pry the ignition switch off the topside of the steering column post, exposing a rod; and pull the rod upward, allowing the vehicle to start.

Only Ravelco has an undefeated track record with over 4 million sales since 1976.

Only Ravelco can protect your vehicle.

ABC news
coverage of Ravelco

“I've just retired with 30 years of experience as a police officer... I'm familiar with your product, having seen many attempted motor vehicle thefts foiled when they couldn't get the car started. After exploring many types of systems, I chose the Ravelco system for my personal vehicle."
Bill Abbatematteo, retired Police Captain, North Providence, Rhode Island

(More antitheft reviews from police officers...)

Car & Driver Magazine lists Ravelco as #2 in the Top 5 ways to avoid auto theft. (#1 is remove your keys!)

GM High-tech Performance
September 2006

"this system is for real"
(pg. 39)

"makes theft very tough for
the bad guys"
(pg. 39)

"affordable and effective
solution to vehicle theft"
(pg. 38)


Over 90% of stolen vehicles are hot-wired.


With over 4 million sales since 1976, Ravelco has an undefeated track record.Thieves have never stolen a vehicle by defeating Ravelco.

"I appreciate the efforts you and your company have made to control the auto theft problem in our city. The letters from your customers indicate that they are completely satisfied."
Sam Nuchia, Chief of Police, City of Houston, Texas

"I am not trying to boast but I have a car that is worth over $227,000 US Dollars. It is a 2006 Red Ferrari 430. I keep it in our garage but I am so scared on having it stolen. After searching the web, I decided to go with your Ravelco Theft product for my car. I had one installed in Montreal, Canada. I paid extra to have the Ravelco installed completely underneath my dashboard. In December 2006, we went back to New York for the holidays and returned to Montreal in January of this year (2007). We were shocked to find out that while we were gone someone had broke into our home and stole every firearm that I had collected since I was 13 years old! They even stole my tools and a floor jack that I had in my garage. The Ferrari's ignition assembly was destroyed and the battery was dead. The thieves actually tried to run wires from the battery to the ignition to try to HOT WIRE and steal the Ferrari! BUT NO WAY!! Thank God for the Ravelco that my car was still there." Pierre T, Montreal, Canada

"As a retired police chief, I can attest to the many reports that came to my attention over the years of stolen vehicles and of those attempts that failed. All of the latter categories were protected by Ravelco".
W.G. "Bill" Rush, FBI NATIONAL ACADEMY GRADUATE, Houston, Texas, after Ravelco's installed on his personal vehicles


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