Alarm systems and engine lockouts don't always do a great job deterring thieves, which is frustrating, because that's why they're designed in the first place! Police beats and arrest records are showing a rise in unconventional vehicle features confounding and delaying thieves until they're captured. The best security system you can put in a car may not be the alarm these days; remember when we saw some incompetent thieves who couldn't drive a manual transmission? We also saw a robber somehow manage to lock himself in the Cayenne he was trying to steal!
Something Similar Just Happened
23-year-old Damian Armstrong is an Austin, TX resident who, police say, thought he could steal some $200,000 in cars and electronics from a nearby Porsche dealership. Instead, he tripped an alarm, and despite leaving the dealership in a brand new (and Autobahn friendly) Cayenne, he found himself surrounded by police in a matter of minutes. Where did things go wrong? Armstrong forgot to close the Cayenne's tailgate.
There's a strong imagery in cartoons of crooks leaving back hatches/doors/lift gates open on their getaway cars, dollar bills and/or gold coins spilling out as they flee from police. In the real world, you could probably do that with an older vehicle -- except for part with bits of money flying out the back. Not with new Cayennes. Gone are the days of driving a Cayenne 140mph on the highway with the tailgate open, blowing $20 bills to the wind as you evade police forces. Most models, depending on year of manufacture, have a safety lockout that reduces the top speed to a crawl when the car senses the tailgate is open (some may even set the electronic parking brake automatically, ensuring you can't drive off). This feature was likely added to prevent accidents from fallen materials, or reduce the chances of damaging the cargo/pets/kids (hey, I won't judge you!) being hauled around in the rear of the Cayenne.
When Armstrong tried to escape the police, he neglected to shut the liftgate
He then led police on a brief, low-speed chase through town. An instrument panel or touchscreen notification must have reached him because he eventually stopped and shut the liftgate. He was able to get back into the car, but because he'd been traveling so slowly, the Cayenne was soon surrounded by police. Refusing to leave the vehicle, he was brought into custody after officers negotiated via two shocks from a stun gun. At the time of this writing, he's in jail with bail set to $225,000, and has charges of felony theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest, and two counts of burglary of a building. All because he couldn't be bothered to close the liftgate on the car he was stealing. Jerk!
The car and all stolen property was recovered. Bravo, Austin PD!
It's serendipitous for a thief who was totally unconcerned about safety to be stopped in his tracks by a safety feature. What's next, a carjacker suffering spine compressions from seats with automatically-recalling seating positions?
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
Porsche Car Thief Gives New Meaning to the term, “Drive it Like You Stole It”.
Why Would You Rob a Bank and Then Flee in a Porsche 944?
Russian SWAT Team Attacks the Wrong Porsche Cayenne
This Guy Took A Porsche Panamera For A 2200 Mile Test Drive