Steering Wheel Stolen-No Damage To Locks/Window

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by blackmercowner, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. blackmercowner

    blackmercowner New Member

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    Hi
    This is my first post so thanks in anticipation of any replies/help.

    I've had my steering wheel and airbag stolen from my 09 C200 Sport.

    Under normal circumstances, I'd be unable to confirm/verify whether or not the car was locked (of course, I DO lock it, but normally do it on autopilot so would not be able to remember).

    However, due to unusual circumstances on the evening in question, I can actually remember locking the door and my daughter, who was standing next to the car remembers it too.

    There is no sign of any forced entry and the insurance company are quite naturally questioning whether the car was locked. This I fully understand and normally wouldn't have been able to say with absolute certainty that I locked it. However, on this occasion, I can.

    Is anyone aware of any circumstances where thieves have managed to get into these cars? I've read about various apparent "methods" on the internet involving intercepting codes etc but no one is very specific (and nor should they be).

    I am potentially facing a huge bill for the replacement of the steering wheel unless they decide to pay out and I'm therefore looking for evidence that it is at least potentially possible without a key.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    I have no idea if anybody could unlock your car using a scanner. I would have thought it very unlikely, if only because they just pinched your steering wheel. That would be a lot of trouble and risk to go to.

    However. My C55 is prone to unlocking with no reasonable explanation. i.e. I get out he car I lock it, I check it is locked. I come back later and it is unlocked. This is very intermittent. By pure chance it happened last night. Went for a quick nine holes, clubs out, shoes on, lock car, check lock. Come back to car - unlocked.

    Good luck with the insurance. I would guess that they have their cautious hats on due the strange nature of the theft.
     
  3. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    A very unusual theft!! It's not the easiest of things to undo, having to remove the airbag before gaining access to the column bolt. Those column bolts tend to be very tight! They must have been very determined.

    As to the car being locked/unlocked, could you have accidently unlocked it by sitting on the fob, squashing it in a bag/pocket?
     
  4. npuk

    npuk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A bit risky taking a steering wheel and airbag whilst the battery is still connected or did they disconnect the battery?

    Well a couple of mercs were on the most stolen luxurys cars in the UK list and the article mentioned they are taken by cloning keys so there must be some way to do it. http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/general-discussion/106089-6th-most-popular-car-steal-msn.html

    If he accidentally unlocked it the car automatically relocks after 40 seconds if a door isnt opened.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  5. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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  6. OP
    OP
    blackmercowner

    blackmercowner New Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far...The key was placed in the usual safe spot in the hallway, so not put into a bag.

    I've thought long and hard about this and I was told by the police that it was probably stolen to order and I just can't imagine an opportunist coming round "hoping" that I'd left it unlocked-Surely that wouldn't happen?

    I can only think that they must have known they could get into it. They were certainly professionals-there was no damage to the column or anything. All in all, a very "neat" job.

    It's just so frustrating as normally I would not have been able to say conclusively that I had locked the car (even though I always do) but really can on this occasion.
     
  7. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    This happened to me with my previous car, only realised it once the car was thrashed and the parking money taken, but no break-in signs. It turned out to be a fault with one of the door locks, it had some resistance, so the button would creep down but after a few seconds jump up again. Was resolved under warranty.

    Having said that... the OP makes sense when he is saying that given that this was a theft-to-order, it is unlikely that the thieves left it to chance - they would have known that they can get into the car.

    On that note... a friend had a new CL driven off from outside his office some 3 or 4 years ago, apparently the thieves just got in and drive off, no one knows how - he had both original keys with him and (at the insurance request) a confirmation from MB that no spare keys have ever been ordered.

    So I geuss that it is possible to get into MB (and other) cars - but the OP posted here in search of hard evidence to this effect, and with that I am afraid that sadly I can't help....
     
  8. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure that this is a good place to keep the keys at all.

    Could it be the thief helped themselves to your keys and then let themselves back in and quietly returned them?

    Could the keys have been fished through the letterbox with a pole or rod or something?

    As others have said though... a bizarre theft. If they had the keys it would be much easier to drive the car somewhere safer to remove the steering wheel.

    What area are you from? Maybe we can look out for the wheel or something.
     
  9. moonloops

    moonloops MB Club Veteran

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    They lever up the boot lid and expose the wiring to the boot lock, one quick short circuit later and all doors are unlocked. I don't think they'd bother to re-lock it though. Besides when this method is used most alarms go off.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    blackmercowner

    blackmercowner New Member

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    Thanks. I'm from Leeds-so if you see any steering wheels.......

    The thieves couldn't have got the keys from the "safe spot". They weren't just lying in the hallway thankfully. The more I think about it, the more I think this must have been planned and executed professionally. The chances of them finding the right car which happens to be unlocked is just so remote.
     
  11. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    Too be honest I would rather leave the keys downstairs handy than anyone trying to find them and coming upstairs while myself and family is asleep.

    A car is just a car at the end of the day.

    The good thing on the E class I currently have as we are pretty poor at looking them and even shutting all the doors !!! if the mirrors are folded in when I look out its pretty much locked.

    Hope you get it sorted.
     
  12. kth286

    kth286 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    what was special about the steering wheel you had ? Designo style ?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    blackmercowner

    blackmercowner New Member

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    As far as I know, it was the standard one fitted, but as the car is on lease, it was chosen at the time for the model availability rather than added extras, so can't be sure :dk:
     
  14. OP
    OP
    blackmercowner

    blackmercowner New Member

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    Just a thought....Do the locks lock themselves when the car is left open anyway?
     
  15. JohnDeere8530

    JohnDeere8530 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    are you sure it wasn't stolen when you inadvertently left the doors unlocked perhaps on a previous occasion when parked elsewhere? :) I can't see anyone going to the bother of getting into a locked car in a very sophisticated manner just to steal a steering wheel. If they could surely they would be into 'bigger things'

    I had a 3 series coupe around 2001. It was brand new and I locked the keys in the boot in Cannes. Local Renault frenchman came out, rang someone and then got his drill out. He took off 'something' that is fixed to the outside of the car, measured in 2 dimensions from a fixed reference point and drilled a M8 hole in the car. He then popped out one wire, earthed it out, this turned off the alarm and popped the central locking. This took no more than 3 minutes.

    He then stuck an M8 rubber bung in the hole, replaced the said 'something' that is fixed to every car in two places then went on his merry way.

    My point is if a French Renault mechanic new this about a BMW model that had not been out for 3 months the I guess anyone could aquire such knowledge on any car. #

    I hear on a very presteige car, you take out the mirror glass on o/s door and earth out an exposed wire. The results are instantious and leaves no clue
     
  16. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Replacement airbags are not cheap and there is a lively market in "second hand" ones. Just take a look on ebay
     
  17. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    it will only lock itself if it was previously locked.

    e.g.

    - You lock the car
    - child unlocks car whilst playing with keys
    - doors not opened for a few minutes
    - car automatically locks itself again as it assumes the unlocking was not intentional
     
  18. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    What were the strange circumstances that happened that night.

    It's possible that someone blocked your locking the car by using a scanner, so you thought it was locked, but it wasn't.
     
  19. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    I find the nice thing about having fold on locking mirrors is you can see very easily the car is locked.


    Where was the car parked? Removing a steering wheel isn't a 5min job
     
  20. stevesey

    stevesey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Although if you know what you are doing and come armed with the correct tools, it's not much longer. Have done a focus and 206 recently and reckon I could do in 5 mins with practice. Remove airbag (screws/clip), disconnect, undo bolt, pull hard. Difficult bit would be if you need to turn the wheel to access screws to remove the airbag - then you need to disable the steering lock as well.

    Cars are difficult to steal these days - because of the immobiliser and electronic keys you need the keys to start the (hence the rise of breakins/hi-jacks just to get the keys), but if you just want to open the doors that may well be a lot less challenging, and as others have indicated there seem to be known methods for doing this.
     

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