Thieves Target Chevrolet Silverados, Disable OnStar Tracking

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Frustrated North Texas truck owners say their Chevy Silverados are being targeted and the devices meant to help catch the bad guys are useless.

Jarrod Hamlin is a truck guy.

He runs his own remodeling business and uses a truck every day, yet he was left without a ride after his bright blue 2018 Chevy Silverado was stolen Jan. 28 in Carrollton.

He said surveillance video showed how quickly thieves were able to get away.

“Within 3 minutes [thieves] were able to pop the lock, pop the hood, change the computer, disable the OnStar and steal my truck,” Hamlin said.

He tried to long on to his MyChevy app to use OnStar to track the vehicle, but it showed a failed connection and he realized OnStar had been disabled.

So he called police, filed a report, then turned to social media and started hearing similar stories from other Silverado owners in the area.

“They all said the same thing: no glass was broken, their keys weren’t used and the OnStar was disabled so fast that a lot of these people said OnStar’s last known location was in front of my house,” Hamlin said.

NBC 5 heard from two other North Texans whose Silverados were stolen on the same day a few miles apart. In both cases, the OnStar tracking device was disabled within minutes. A Facebook page dedicated to stolen vehicles in Texas catalogs similar stories with Silverados.

“These are the pros who do this because they know there is a market for it and they know they can make money off it,” said Carrollton police spokesperson Jolene DeVito .

She said these thieves were sophisticated and it could be frustrating for detectives that criminals find ways around anti-theft devices.

“You have OnStar, you already have a tracking system that should be enough, but when it’s not just go the extra mile,” DeVito said.

Carrollton police suggested owners get another security system and install cameras around their property to catch or deter potential thieves.

Hamlin said he has already decided to spend money to purchase a different anti-theft device.

“I’m definitely going to end up putting a lot more security measures on it and not trusting the dealership to put something on it to protect my vehicle," he said.

The North Texas Auto Task Force operates under the jurisdiction of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and investigates stolen vehicles. The agency said 2015 to 2018 Chevy Silverados are being targeted by thieves because they’re able to disable the OnStar tracking system.

NBC 5 reached out to General Motors and OnStar to ask if they were aware the tracking system could be disabled so quickly, and if anything was being done to prevent it from happening.

OnStar sent the following statement.

"OnStar responds to more than 15,000 stolen vehicle requests globally each month on average, and we take great efforts to help prevent vehicle theft. We have been working closely with law enforcement in Texas to understand the details of theft methods being used."

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