Technology0Chicago crime: Auto technician recalls being held up, shot at in attempt to steal key programmer used in car thefts


CHICAGO (WLS) — A crumpled vehicle, riddled with bullet holes and covered in broken glass is evidence of an encounter that could have ended in death.

“It just happened so quick and it was such an adrenaline rush,” said Mike, who was recently shot at during an attempted robbery.

Mike, who wanted to withhold his last name, programs key fobs for drivers who need a replacement.

He said he believes he was targeted for his car key programmer in a South Side alley two weekends ago.

“I will definitely screen my customers better,” Mike added.

Mike said he was called for a job near East 73rd Street and South Dante Avenue in the city’s Grand Crossing neighborhood, but the customer who requested a new fob wasn’t there with the car.

Instead, he said two other vehicles boxed his car in and a handful of robbers armed with long guns started rifling through his back seat.

“And at that moment, I started to go in reverse. I mean, I was hoping to get them because my car was the only weapon I had, and obviously they had more,” Mike said.

Mike said he managed to crash his way out but the offenders opened fire, hitting him in the wrist and right shoulder.

This bullet fragment lodged in his hoodie.

“Just incredibly fortunate,” he said.

Mike became the victim of an increasingly-common crime: the theft of these programmers, which car thieves can use to open a locked vehicle.

In June, video captured thieves using a sledgehammer to smash into a Bridgeview locksmith shop.

After searching for less than two minutes, the burglars race out of the business with eight programmers.

Now, with his car shot up and his wounds still healing, Mike is unable to make a living.

“Some people try to take advantage of us workers,” he said.

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