The authorities said the group of criminals from the Balkans use the method to steal valuables from cars that are normally locked with the touch of a button on a keychain.
The suspects have stolen goods such as purses, coats, navigation computers and laptops. And in one case they even made off with €1 million in jewels.
The thieves apparently use radio signal jammers available for €2,000 in criminal circles.
Chief investigator Jürgen Franke said several members of the gang had been arrested, including a 60-year-old man “caught in the act” while recently attempting to break into an Audi A6 parked on Düsseldorf’s Königsallee.
The man, identified as Zoran M., was supposedly involved in the theft of the jewels back in 2005 with a 40-year-old woman and an unnamed dentist, who allegedly helped fence the stolen goods.
“There’s evidence that the dentist involved took care of the loot,” Franke said.
But police cannot expect his testimony at an upcoming trial for his accomplices, since Interpol believes he has since fallen prey to members of the Moscow underworld.