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> Car Theft, Making a car thief character
Socinus
post Feb 26 2010, 09:29 AM
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This is an idea I've found rather challenging but I'm intrigued and determined to find a way to make this work.

I want to make a character who is a car thief but I'm not 100% sure how to go about it to be able to defeat all (or most) potential security measures necessary to open a car up, get in, start it up, and drive it off without the cops being called.

Input?
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Axl
post Feb 26 2010, 09:40 AM
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Most B&E and hacker builds would find this straightforward. Ironically, our group typically finds it much easier, safer and more profitable to steal cars than to go 'running.
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FriendoftheDork
post Feb 26 2010, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (Axl @ Feb 26 2010, 10:40 AM) *
Most B&E and hacker builds would find this straightforward. Ironically, our group typically finds it much easier, safer and more profitable to steal cars than to go 'running.


Which probably means it's either to easy to steal, clean and sell a vehicle or the runners get too little income from runs. In my game I made it fairly easy to hack and steal a car but very hard to make it untraceable and to "launder" it for resale. Thus you'd need some kind of operation specialized at taking stolen cars, fixing them up, making them "legit", and selling them. Kind of like it is today.

Or if you want some inspiration of anti-theft car security check out Robocop 2 where the perp gets a shocking suprise (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Professor Evil O...
post Feb 26 2010, 10:27 AM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Feb 26 2010, 01:54 AM) *
Which probably means it's either to easy to steal, clean and sell a vehicle or the runners get too little income from runs. In my game I made it fairly easy to hack and steal a car but very hard to make it untraceable and to "launder" it for resale. Thus you'd need some kind of operation specialized at taking stolen cars, fixing them up, making them "legit", and selling them. Kind of like it is today.


All very good deterents. Forcing the players to plan car thefts also works. Complications they'll have to do legwork to avoid are a good way to slow down grand theft auto. Having to avoid cutting in on organized crime rings' or gangs' turf for you crimes, stolen cars that are really plot hooks (body in the trunk, hot loot, etc.), cars left out by the cops as bait, etc.

QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Feb 26 2010, 01:54 AM) *
Or if you want some inspiration of anti-theft car security check out Robocop 2 where the perp gets a shocking suprise (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


One of my players used to use this trick on all his vehicles. Now he just sets his cars to contact him when they are tampered with, then jumps into them with VR, and shoots thieves with onboard weapons.
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Aerospider
post Feb 26 2010, 11:09 AM
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Don't forget that thieves who don't change their MO get caught. Always. Following patterns is what law enforcement does best, mostly because that's the only way to predict someone you've never met but also because most (sub-shadowrunner) criminals have chosen an illicit career because they are too lazy and/or stupid to make an honest living.

So if your players decide to spend more time stealing cars than running because they see it as an easy way to build a bank roll, make sure the cops catch on to any trends in their thefts and set a trap.

Unless they're cunningly stealing lower value merchandise in lower security neighbourhoods, in which case before too long they'll take something from someone with the resources to find them through the shadows.
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FriendoftheDork
post Feb 26 2010, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE (Aerospider @ Feb 26 2010, 12:09 PM) *
Don't forget that thieves who don't change their MO get caught. Always. Following patterns is what law enforcement does best, mostly because that's the only way to predict someone you've never met but also because most (sub-shadowrunner) criminals have chosen an illicit career because they are too lazy and/or stupid to make an honest living.

So if your players decide to spend more time stealing cars than running because they see it as an easy way to build a bank roll, make sure the cops catch on to any trends in their thefts and set a trap.

Unless they're cunningly stealing lower value merchandise in lower security neighbourhoods, in which case before too long they'll take something from someone with the resources to find them through the shadows.


Or... if they really go in to do it as best as they can, they'll get away with it for quite some time. Any competent group of Shadowrunners SHOULD be able to live off petty crime if they choose to, but they'll probably never gonna get much higher than Low or Medium Lifestyle unless they set up a large criminal organization... in any case you're not playing Shadowrun anymore, you're playing GTA: 2070.

The reasons why runners don't usually steal cars instead of running is that:

A: Shadowruns have the potential of getting alot more nuyen
B: Setting up shot requires different contacts, resources etc. than running, so doing that mean sacrificing one over the other.

But remember that if the runners can draw the attention of Lone Star and syndicates if they continually steal cars, they're definitely going to draw their attention by doing Shadowruns, and then other Megas might get annoyed as well. It's a dangerous life, but that's the way it is. Successful Shadowrunners are few and far between, for good reasons - even with the right abilitiy and equipment it's still extremely dangerous.
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Ascalaphus
post Feb 26 2010, 11:27 AM
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If you set the profitability of car theft just right as GM, then a carjacker PC is a fine team member. It's the guy that occasionally runs the shadows to beef up his regular income from car theft (which just isn't enough for his preferred lifestyle).
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Feb 26 2010, 11:34 AM
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Blabla, make it impossible to do stuff for own profit, yaddayadda, here comes the Johnson – he took the railroad.
Look – if characters start to do their own thing, that's the best you can hope for as a GM.

Talking about MO and people chasing them down through the shadows for common merchandise? Yeah, right – it's not like they usually get hired to do thing much more dangerous, important and less common… and usually, a team gets hired for certain jobs that fit their SoP. So if a Johnson want's a capable team running his errants, he can pay up – or pack up. The ones that can't even steal a car, let alone clean it certainly won't fit his ballpark. Well, except if he's shopping for a diversion.
Bottom line: Runners should not worry about stealing cars ecxept to use & burn them because they make way more doing other things.

Back on topic: A car thief needs to be a hacker first (decrypt the vehicle node, hack it, pwn it), with a few micro-drones carrying non-linear junction detectors and micro-tool lasers (like the ones for cybereyes) to have them crawl the chassis of the vehicle for tags and burning off the surface ones, then a HERF rifle to burn out all buried tags on it (including hardened ones). A mechanics drone for switching out plates for smart ones is nice, too, and it can carry the HERF as well. Combined with a delivery van, it's a remote operation.
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Aerospider
post Feb 26 2010, 12:06 PM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Feb 26 2010, 11:19 AM) *
But remember that if the runners can draw the attention of Lone Star and syndicates if they continually steal cars, they're definitely going to draw their attention by doing Shadowruns

Well, only to a point. Runs come in all shapes and sizes and unless the team has a very clear speciality they are likely to be doing rather different things from job to job, which makes it harder for other organisations to connect their crimes together. Besides which, many jobs will have scope for covering one's tracks to make it look like nothing untoward has happened at all (at least as far as the authorities are concerned) but a stolen car can't just be replaced with a cardboard cut-out.

That said it's not all that difficult to delay the cops in linking your car thefts together. Only if you steal lots in a short time, the same area or of similar economic value are they going to catch on quick. Like I said before, it's all about the patterns.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Feb 26 2010, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE (Aerospider @ Feb 26 2010, 02:06 PM) *
Runs come in all shapes and sizes and unless the team has a very clear speciality they are likely to be doing rather different things from job to job [...]

So do cars and other merchandise.
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Karoline
post Feb 26 2010, 02:25 PM
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The real problem with the 'LoneStar will set a trap' defense is that yes, they might figure it out and set a trap, but they're going to assign like 2-4 regular cops to the trap, expecting a single perpetrator or a handful of small time petty criminals. This is going to be slightly less than a real annoyance for Runners. Once this happens they'll just lay low on the car jacking for a while.
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DireRadiant
post Feb 26 2010, 03:13 PM
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My car thief is a Mage with Mind Probe, Alter Memory, and Influence.

"I swear my car was parked on this level...."
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Karoline
post Feb 26 2010, 03:22 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Feb 26 2010, 10:13 AM) *
My car thief is a Mage with Mind Probe, Alter Memory, and Influence.

"I swear my car was parked on this level...."


Or "I sold my car and then lost the money gambling."
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Saint Sithney
post Feb 26 2010, 03:27 PM
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First there is the physical issue that anyone with the scratch to afford a good car is going to keep it off the street and usually behind some secure checkpoints, like in a high-rise garage or a gated community. Because of this, you can't just pull the car off the Gridlink and drive it away. It has got to pass a checkpoint, possibly with a real live human watching it. So, in order to steal it, you would have to get it past the checkpoint at a normal time and flying all its regular flags.

Probably the best option would be to hack yourself an admin account for the car, wait for the owner to get in and drive it past the security, and then remote hijack it in transit.
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Karoline
post Feb 26 2010, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Feb 26 2010, 10:27 AM) *
Probably the best option would be to hack yourself an admin account for the car, wait for the owner to get in and drive it past the security, and then remote hijack it in transit.


Then you've added Kidnapping to your charges and the owner is calling the cops because his/her car has been hacked.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Feb 26 2010, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Feb 26 2010, 05:27 PM) *
possibly with a real live human watching it.

Hardly: The whole point of a Pilot in every car is that it can drive around by itseld, like picking you up after the party.
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nezumi
post Feb 26 2010, 06:27 PM
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Skills:
Car b/r (obvious)
Computer b/r (you want to be able to wipe the computer or reprogram it, to change the whatsit chips, and to shut down gridguide)
Electronics b/r (most of the actual security mechanisms are electronic locks)
Car (also obvious!)

Contacts:
Scrap dealer
Spotter
Chop Shop
MVA/DMV contact

Gear:
Car b/r kit
Electronics b/r kit
Car shop
EMP devices
Bug scanners (to check for any transmitting devices and shut them down)
High level jammer (to shut down any devices set to respond to radio signal)
Shifting plates
Whatever the chip is changer (in Rigger 3)
Lone Star badge (helpful)
Repo guy ID and papers (helpful)



Alternatively:
Tow truck
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Orcus Blackweath...
post Feb 27 2010, 01:27 AM
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I chose the Technomancer route. Contacts in organized crime to sell the ill gotten gains, decent levels of complex forms to allow for the hacking stuff, skinlink echo to allow you to touch the car and hack it without tools or a wireless connection to the vehicle, and possible rigging echo as well.
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Saint Sithney
post Feb 27 2010, 03:41 AM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Feb 26 2010, 07:29 AM) *
Then you've added Kidnapping to your charges and the owner is calling the cops because his/her car has been hacked.



More like added kidnapping to your profit margin, amirite?
Just walk up to his door at the first convenient stop, unlock the car for your access, enter and taze the driver as you max out the variable tint. Then you go somewhere secluded, dump the chump and digitally disappear the car.

As to the human element being a null factor, I suppose there could just as easily be an automated gate. Probably easier, actually, but that does still put another layer of (piddly) active security you'd need to bypass to get the car from where it would be parked to your chopshop.
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 04:09 AM
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Well, the biggest concern about the kidnapping thing is, like I said, the fact that they'd call the cops (Or at least gridguide or something) if they noticed the car going where it shouldn't.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Feb 27 2010, 04:13 AM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Feb 26 2010, 10:27 AM) *
First there is the physical issue that anyone with the scratch to afford a good car is going to keep it off the street and usually behind some secure checkpoints, like in a high-rise garage or a gated community. Because of this, you can't just pull the car off the Gridlink and drive it away. It has got to pass a checkpoint, possibly with a real live human watching it. So, in order to steal it, you would have to get it past the checkpoint at a normal time and flying all its regular flags.

Probably the best option would be to hack yourself an admin account for the car, wait for the owner to get in and drive it past the security, and then remote hijack it in transit.


I actually wonder about this. How much street parking would there be in the dystopean future. There is tons of it today, and good cars get parked on the street fairly often. Sure really nice cars usually don't, but most car thieves don't steal the super fancy ones. Now in the world of SR, it does seem a lot more security and crime conscious, how many more secure parking lots will there be. Even now, downtown parking is one of the best uses of land you can have. When crime is a bigger factor, and you provide decent security it would even be more valuable. How many apartment complexes get knocked down for parking, how many people get displaced to the barrens because of it. I like it, feels very SR to me.

Anyways its all about hacking so decker or gag a technomancer. And I dig the idea about with the microdroes to find the tags. As fir the driver, there is a good chance the driver wont even know it is happening for a while. How many drivers actually drive instead of just letting the auto-nav get them to work while they get another hour of sleep. Heck if you want to be nasty you could probably pop his seat belt, hi-speed turn, open the door and throw his ass out before he had a chance to react. He might call the cops eventually but that takes some time to pcik yourself up from.
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zergloli
post Feb 27 2010, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Feb 26 2010, 11:13 PM) *
I actually wonder about this. How much street parking would there be in the dystopean future.
Even today many cars are stolen from parking garages. It's not like the garage security is going to be all that hard to hack, or like parking attendants are going to be hard to bribe.
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 10:41 PM
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QUOTE (zergloli @ Feb 27 2010, 05:38 PM) *
Even today many cars are stolen from parking garages. It's not like the garage security is going to be all that hard to hack, or like parking attendants are going to be hard to bribe.


And most parking garages just care that the fee for parking there is paid. They don't know or care who is driving it. They certainly don't check that the driver leaving with the vehicle is the same one that came in with it.
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Chance359
post Feb 28 2010, 04:15 AM
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How about hacking the car so it tells the driver its due for service and will be auto-driving to its service appointment at the nearest authorized dealership for its appointment. The driver will have to leave to the car to get the service appointment sorted out, your car theft does a quick scrub of the car (maybe swaps information with a similar make and model sitting on the lot. The thief should be able to drive it away pretty easy.
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kzt
post Feb 28 2010, 04:46 AM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Feb 26 2010, 04:34 AM) *
then a HERF rifle to burn out all buried tags on it (including hardened ones). A mechanics drone for switching out plates for smart ones is nice, too, and it can carry the HERF as well.

You forgot the part where you have to replace all the electronics you burned out with the HREF. But who needs an ignition computer, the battery controller or the silicon controlled rectifiers anyhow?
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