EAST ALTON – With the recent jump in car thefts accompanying colder weather, several Riverbend residents may be considering remote starters for their vehicles.

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Offered across the Riverbend at many locations, remote starters may prevent some of the most common sorts of car thefts – explicitly those who prey on people starting their cars on cold winter mornings and going inside to wait for them to warm. Those with remote starters may simply push a button to start their vehicle while the doors are locked without worrying about locking themselves out of it. Shane Fowler, owner of Modified Auto Sound in East Alton, said the price of installing such a system is around $300.

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“They will work on almost any vehicle,” he said in a Facebook message. “We choose not to install them on manual transmission cars due to liabilities. I can't speak for other shops, but Modified Auto Sound does not charge more for difficult or older vehicles. The only exception to that would be cars like Mercedes, which require special equipment.”

Installation of the system takes two to four hours, he said. He also said modern technology with remote starting prevents hackers from being able to hijack or duplicate the signal.

“There is always a rise in sales after stories like this, because people get the proper information they need to make the purchase,” Fowler said, regarding a recent story in Riverbender regarding car thefts. “Fear of auto theft tends to motivate the masses. I would say they are extremely effective in preventing thefts. They allow you to warm up your car or cool down your car without the keys being present.”

Fowler said such systems may also be paired with alarms for additional security.

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