A Hacked Together ‘Game Boy’ Was Used To Steal Cars In the UK

A Hacked Together ‘Game Boy’ Was Used To Steal Cars In the UK
Image: screenshot from 'Piracy. It's a crime.' campaign

‘Piracy. It’s a crime.’, but so is stealing cars, and turns out three men in the UK didn’t get the 2004 PSA. They were charged this week with using a Nintendo Game Boy ‘gizmo’ to break into cars.

They didn’t use a Game Boy in place of a brick to smash windows with it, no, no, they Frankensteined the crap out of a bunch of tech to make it capable of fooling the car.

According to West Yorkshire Police, the offenders used a ‘handheld gizmo’, with the appearance of a Nintendo Game Boy, to fool the car’s keyless entry and ignition that a legitimate keyless fob was being used.

Police say that from May through July of this year, more than 30 Mitsubishi Outlanders were stolen. This kicked off an investigation that ended up linking the three men to a conspiracy involving five separate thefts of vehicles, valued in excess of £180,000 (over $330,000).

game boy steal stole car
Image: West Yorkshire Police

How did they link them? Well, they took a video of them doing it.

The police said there was footage recovered from one of the men’s phones showing how quickly and easily the Game Boy gave them full access to the vehicles, accompanied by a commentary in ‘mocking tones’. One of the men gave away his identity by having his tattoos visible in the vid, too.

There was also CCTV footage of the men unplugging a car from its charging point before using the Game Boy to unlock and start it. They also crashed that car.

“As the car was reversed away it knocked down a drainpipe and damaged the car parked behind it,” the police said.

The men – aged 29, 30 and 33 – were arrested in July and this week were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court. One man was sentenced to 30 months in prison, with a concurrent 18-month term for separate burglary matters; and the other two men were each given 22-month sentences, suspended for two years.