Hackers steal more than 30 Jeeps in Texas


As cars become more connected, hacking is becoming more of a concern.

Last year, researchers took control of a Jeep Cherokee in a highly-publicized hack, but it seems hackers can cause other kinds of mischief as well. A pair of hackers were arrested last week in Texas after stealing more than 30 Jeep and Dodge vehicles over a 6-month period.

Michael Arcee and Jesse Zelay were arrested in Houston on Friday while attempting to steal another vehicle, according to ABC 13. Police said the pair were using a laptop that they connected to the cars, and illegal software that allowed them to start engines without keys. The Houston Police Department was aware of the thefts for months but couldn't make any progress until home surveillance video of a theft surfaced.

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The video, recorded in April, showed Arcee and Zelay stealing a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Police said it only took the two men about 6.0 minutes to steal the Jeep. After the footage appeared, an investigation was opened that eventually led to the arrest of Arcee and Zelay. The two may not be the only ones involved in the theft ring, but police are fairly confident that they are, a representative told ABC 13.

The stolen cars were reportedly shipped to Mexico. Homeland Security is investigating more than 100 stolen Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] vehicles that it believes were stolen using similar software to the cars lifted in the Houston area. FCA is conducting its own internal investigation but has already said the hack isn't related to the Uconnect security vulnerability uncovered by researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek last year.

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