ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Advances in technology appears to be at least partly to blame for a jump in the number of carjackings locally.

So says Capt. Bruce Fleshren with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, on the heels of a wild, bi-state chase involving carjackers Wednesday.

“One of the things we’ve speculated is that it is harder and harder to actually steal a vehicle that does not have the keys in it, because of these systems that are involved with ignitions and keys now,” he says.

Fleshren says auto manufacturers have worked hard to make their cars burglar-proof, and the days of hot-wiring cars – trying to get them to run without keys – is all but over.

“Unless you actually get a vehicle with the keys in it, these people cannot get vehicles to drive,” he says.

In other words, it’s easier to hold up a driver in a car that’s already running.

To avoid becoming the next victim, Fleshren advises that drivers be aware of their surroundings, and if it looks like you are being followed, drive to a lighted area where there are people around.

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