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Wed Jul 8, 2020, 12:51 PM

Feds File Charges In Case With Over 1,000 Stolen Key Fobs And Train Police

Feds File Charges In Case With Over 1,000 Stolen Key Fobs And Train Police

Erik Shilling
Today 9:34AM • Filed to: CAR CRIME

There is a whole world out there for black market key fobs, as there probably is for pretty much everything. This week, the feds said that nearly 2,000 key fobs had been stolen over a six-month period from new cars at a railyard outside of Detroit and later sold for over $60,000. A Detroit man has been charged in the alleged scheme.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Jason Gibbs, 41, was charged Monday in federal court in Detroit with theft of goods from interstate shipments. He could not be reached for comment, and no attorney is listed for him.

The investigation launched after a subsidiary of CSX Transportation began getting complaints from Ford, GM and FCA about missing key fobs. Instead of showing up at dealerships with two key fobs, they were arriving with only one. All of the vehicles with missing key fobs, which included the popular Ford F-150, had come through the same facility, according to an affidavit from a postal inspector filed with the criminal complaint

The key fobs were being sold to be reprogrammed for use on other vehicles, according to the affidavit, which said more than $60,000 was paid to a PayPal account — “scarpone21" — linked to Gibbs. Ford had its own investigators looking into the thefts as well, and even made payments to the “scarpone21" account for key fobs that had been mailed through the New Boston Post Office and had a return address in Detroit at a vacant house, where Gibbs had lived previously, the affidavit said.

The affidavit itself, filed Monday in federal court, makes for fascinating reading, and not just about the alleged crime itself, but also the details about how new cars are packaged and shipped, and the picture it paints of the key fob black market. The affidavit was written by a postal inspector, and CSX Police were also involved in the investigation.

Here is how the postal inspector describes the shipping procedures at the site where the alleged crime occurred:

{snip}

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