CHICAGO (CBS) — Car thieves in Chicago are using a variety of tools these days – including a couple of things that are somewhat surprising.

Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Joe Patterson hears a lot from officers on the streets about car thieves.

“I was just told a story where a house key was actually used to start a vehicle. Or a fork was used in one incident,” Patterson said.

Liz Houtz, who lives in the North Center neighborhood, says police told her her car was stolen by thieves who towed it away in the middle of the night.

“And they scoop the car right up and the driver doesn’t even have to get out of the truck,” she said.

Six days later, she got a call from somebody who’d found her car three miles away.

“The battery and the catalytic converter had been removed from the car, as well as some of the components from underneath,” she said.

Chief Patterson’s advice: “A nosy neighbor is better than a car alarm in some cases.”

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