[ISN] Malaysia car thieves steal finger

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Tue Apr 5 01:05:17 EDT 2005


By Jonathan Kent 
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur 
31 March, 2005

Police in Malaysia are hunting for members of a violent gang who
chopped off a car owner's finger to get round the vehicle's hi-tech
security system.

The car, a Mercedes S-class, was protected by a fingerprint
recognition system.

Accountant K Kumaran's ordeal began when he was run down by four men
in a small car as he was about to get into his Mercedes in a Kuala
Lumpur suburb.

The gang, armed with long machetes, demanded the keys to his car.

It is worth around $75,000 second-hand on the local market, where
prices are high because of import duties.

Stripped naked

The attackers forced Mr Kumaran to put his finger on the security
panel to start the vehicle, bundled him into the back seat and drove

But having stripped the car, the thieves became frustrated when they
wanted to restart it. They found they again could not bypass the
immobiliser, which needs the owner's fingerprint to disarm it.

They stripped Mr Kumaran naked and left him by the side of the road -
but not before cutting off the end of his index finger with a machete.

Police believe the gang is responsible for a series of thefts in the

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