Tech-Savvy Thieves Switch Keys During Test Drive to Steal Porsche

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Guenter Schiffmann / Bloomberg / Getty Images

A Porsche Panamera similar to the one stolen sits on display outside a Porsche dealership in Stuttgart, Germany.

The cast of Gone in 60 Seconds would be proud. No forced entry, no threats; just a devious plan that netted two thieves a $148,000 Porsche.

As the story goes, two men in their 20s showed up to Princeton Porsche in Lawrence, N.J. Monday to test-drive the Porsche Panamera. They claimed one had just won a nice chunk of change in a legal settlement and was looking for a new set of wheels.

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After the spin around central New Jersey, the men took off. And the next day, so did the Panamera they had driven earlier. Police think that the thieves handed the dealer a fake key after the test drive. “It looks like they may have done a switcheroo on the keys of the car,” Lawrence Police Lt. Charles Edgar said.

The dealer, who accompanied the men during the test drive, noticed the car was missing upon opening shop the next morning. How could this have happened to such an expensive car with such a (presumably) expensive security system? Simple: the car features a keyless ignition system, with no physical key. An electronic key sits in the driver’s pocket allowing one-touch access to opening the doors and turning the car on. Sounds like a fast pass for a simple switcheroo for these techy thieves.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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