SUV thief appears to have copied North Miami Beach man’s key fob

A northern Miami-Dade County family is enduring a string of bad luck.

First they had an expensive iPhone stolen earlier this summer, and now someone has taken something way more expensive: their 2021 black Cadillac Escalade SUV.

“It’s real frustrating because they came to my house,” said the victim, who did not want to reveal his identity. “I never thought about that because I thought this car was fool-proof, it’s a hundred-thousand-dollar car.”

In surveillance video, you can see the crook masked up and covered, casually walking right up the victim’s driveway.

It happened in a housing community just off I-95 in North Miami Beach.

The only known set of keys were inside the home, but the thief appears to quickly trigger something, the car lights up and poof, he’s gone with the vehicle. It appears that someone, somehow, got a copy of the key fob.

“My key was behind the wall. It’s really relatively close to the car,” the victim said.

He said his keys were hanging on a hook by the door to his home, and he fears someone, somehow, got a copy of that key fob.

As a matter of fact, Mark Jenkins with AAA says law enforcement is very aware of the trend.

“AAA has heard a lot of reports about this happening across the country,” he said.

Local 10 News has covered several recent cases where crooks use a type of software, especially on push-to-start cars. They can scout things out beforehand and make a clean break.

“Normally key fobs work when they’re about 3 feet away from the vehicle,” said Jenkins. “But nowadays, criminals have found a device that enables them to extend that signal range to make it basically trick the vehicle that the key fob is right next to the car.”

Unfortunately, this case is the second blow to the victim and his family, who made headlines in July.

That’s when North Miami Beach police say Yaeger Bonilla went to their home to buy an iPhone that the family was selling on OfferUp.

The teen snatched it and his car took off, running over the victim’s wife’s foot.

Attorneys have since explored charging the teen assailant as an adult.

Now the family is again adding even more security to their home.

With the stolen Escalade, police are looking at all possibilities but encourage residents to keep key fobs away from the front of their homes.

There is even a special pouch to put key fobs in and protect the signal that can be purchased online.

Anyone with information on the stolen vehicle is urged to call North Miami Beach police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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