Fake Game Boy
Image: BBC / West Yorkshire Police

UK police have jailed a trio of car thieves who were using a device that looks a lot like a Nintendo Game Boy to steal vehicles worth £180,000 in total.

Dylan Armer, Christopher Bowes and Thomas Poulson stole five Mitsubishi Outlanders by using the gadget to bypass the cars' security systems, according to the BBC. The device in question is worth £20,000, and, according to West Yorkshire Police, is capable of unlocking and starting a car "in a matter of seconds". Closer inspection suggests the complex internals are clad in a cheap, knock-off Game Boy-style casing, commonly seen on emulation consoles from the far east.

The three men were jailed at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal. They were arrested after a Mitsubishi Outlander was stolen from a driveway in Scholes on July 20th of this year. CCTV footage showed them unplugging the car from its charging point before using the Game Boy-like gadget to unlock and start its engine.

Upon their arrest, the device was found in a hidden compartment of their car. Furthermore, footage from Poulson's smartphone showed the individual demonstrating how swiftly the device could give him access to a car, accompanied "by a commentary in mocking tones".

West Yorkshire Police added that "significant investment" was required to purchase one of the "sophisticated devices", suggesting that the thefts were "planned and orchestrated crimes".

Armer was jailed for 30 months. Poulson and Bowes were each given 22 months in prison, suspended for two years.

[source bbc.co.uk]