Thieves Are Targeting Your Electronics Through Bluetooth

Police are warning citizens to turn off the Bluetooth when leaving devices unattended.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Although initially believed to be just an urban legend, it turns out that thieves can actually find your electronics through Bluetooth. This means they can steal them with precision wherever you may leave them.


Bluetooth is a wireless standard used to transmit data over short distances. It allows your phone to pair with your car stereo and those super loud party speakers.

Turn off Bluetooth

Today, nearly all devices use it, including tablets, laptops, cameras, speakers, and phones. Now, police are warning citizens to turn off their Bluetooths when leaving electronics unattended. 

"You can almost pinpoint exactly wherever that Bluetooth is," said Detective Garrett Majors, of California's Fresno Police Department, to KMPH.

"And more than likely, it's going to be an electronic device such as an iPad or MacBook or another cellphone."

Shady behavior

This is especially dangerous as there are a bunch of free easy to use Bluetooth scanners on the market. However, police say there are some ways to spot these Bluetooth-using thieves.

San Jose police crime prevention specialist Sandra Avila tells KPIX5 that most thieves look quite shady when trying to spot electronics through Bluetooth. The would likely be pacing back and forth and pausing to check the signal.

Most Popular

“If you see someone walking around a parking lot, usually, they [criminals] don’t do that. But if they’re walking around, they’re on a bicycle, or they’re on a scooter, that’s suspicious. And so what we want is for someone to report that to 911,” said Avila.

If you insist on keeping your electronics in your car, police suggest you turn off the Bluetooth and completely power off your device. A little prevention goes a long way.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron