The can trick: this is how criminals act to steal your car without resorting to violence

Every year around 25,000 vehicles are stolen in Spain.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 August 2023 Thursday 17:09
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The can trick: this is how criminals act to steal your car without resorting to violence

Every year around 25,000 vehicles are stolen in Spain. In 2022, 24,990 cars were stolen -almost 1,500 less than in 2021-, according to a study published by the HelloSafe financial product comparator that we echoed at Moveo. In said information we collected that, in relation to the previous year, there had been a slight decrease in car thefts and that Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia were the autonomous communities in which the most vehicle thefts were perpetrated.

Criminals use all means at their disposal to steal a vehicle. From the most rudimentary to the most sophisticated, either through the plastic bottle trap or through much more sophisticated means that even require computer skills.

Despite the fact that security forces systematically warn citizens about the different methods that thieves use to steal a car, there are still many motorists who fall for it. They naively give in to the bad intentions of criminals, regardless of how unsophisticated their deception is. The surprise factor is usually a strategy that tends to give good results to friends of others.

The method known as the can trick is a ruse commonly used by criminals to steal a moving car. It consists of securing one end of a rope to the back of the vehicle in circulation and at the other end fixing an aluminum beverage container (soft drink, beer...) or canned food.

The result is that when the driver starts his car he hears an unusual noise that leads him to suspect that something may be wrong. He may think that some component of the vehicle is failing, such as the muffler that may have come off and is scraping the asphalt, or that it has hit something on the road, which could damage the car. In an instinctive act, many drivers tend to stop, open the door and lean in to investigate the source of the noise.

Right at this moment is when the thief, who has been observing the situation, quickly approaches the car. He seizes the opportunity the instant the driver is distracted by the unknown noise. The thief slips into the vehicle, shifts into gear and accelerates to full speed before the driver has a chance to react, wasting no time in escaping.

Faced with situations like these, the authorities emphasize the importance of not leaving the vehicle with the engine running or leaving the keys inside. In the face of disconcerting noise or similar situations, the primary reaction is to remain calm and continue driving as if nothing had happened.

Distancing ourselves by 100 or 200 meters can be essential to deprive the thief of the opportunity to carry out the robbery. In fact, it's likely that by the time he notices we're leaving, he'll give up the idea of ​​taking our car. Maintaining caution and moving forward without stopping may be the most effective measure to avoid falling into this trap.

Likewise, it must be emphasized that, as far as possible, criminals plan to steal a car without resorting to violence to achieve their goal. This particularity should not be underestimated, since the Penal Code, specifically in its article 242, establishes that the crimes of robbery committed with violence or intimidation towards people are sanctioned with penalties ranging between 2 and 5 years of imprisonment.

However, by refraining from directly using violence in the act of abduction, as is the case with the can trick, the legal classification leans towards theft, which is punishable by much lighter sentences, from 6 to 18 months in prison. .