US 20040168489 A1
A motor vehicle anti-theft device adapted to disable the brake pedal of the vehicle. In a first embodiment the device includes an outer housing and an inner shaft member mounted within the housing for relative rotary and telescopic movement. A first clamp structure is journaled on the shaft and a second clamp structure is threaded on the shaft so that as the shaft is rotated in the housing the clamp members are moved toward and away from each other into an out of locking engagement with the brake pedal. The inner shaft and outer housing are slid telescopically relative to each other to firmly engage the fire wall of the vehicle with the clamp members clamped about the brake pedal and a lock structure is provided to preclude relative rotary and relative longitudinal movement of the housing and the shaft. In a second embodiment, the device includes a tubular strut with an opening sized to receive the pedal arm of the brake pedal and a lock bar which may be slid forwardly following movement of the pedal arm into the opening to trap the pedal arm in the opening. The device further includes an actuator rod and a strut rod interconnected by a gear and rack structure so that rearward movement of the actuator rod generates forward movement of the strut rod to plant a foot carried on the forward end of the strut rod against the fire wall of the vehicle following entrapment of the pedal arm. A lock structure is provided to preclude retraction of the lock bar and to preclude retraction of the strut rod.
1. A motor vehicle anti-theft device comprising:
an elongated housing member having a major first axis;
a shaft disposed within the housing member, the housing member at least substantially encircling a circumference of the shaft such that the shaft is slidably supported by the housing;
a front structure protruding from a first end of the shaft in a direction generally perpendicular to the first axis, the shaft and front structure selectively moveable relative to the housing member generally parallel to the first axis; and
a key-operated locking mechanism having a housing fixed relative to the housing member, the locking mechanism for selectively locking the shaft to the housing member to prevent relative axial movement between the shaft and the housing member.
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9. A motor vehicle anti-theft device comprising:
an elongated hollow housing having a major first axis;
a shaft disposed within the housing, the shaft including a plurality of axially-spaced detents or serrations;
a front structure on a first end of the shaft;
a handle mounted to a second end of the shaft opposite the first end of the shaft, the handle extending outside the housing, wherein the shaft, handle and front structure are selectively moveable relative to the housing generally parallel to the first axis;
a locking mechanism fixed to the housing between the handle and the front structure, the locking mechanism including a locking pin selectively movable transversely to the shaft in order to engage at least one of the detents or serrations on the shaft to selectively prevent relative movement between the shaft and the housing member.
10. The motor vehicle anti-theft device of
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14. A motor vehicle anti-theft device comprising:
an elongated housing having a major first axis;
a shaft slidably disposed within the housing;
a front structure protruding from a lower end of the shaft in a direction generally perpendicular to the first axis;
a handle mounted to an upper end of the shaft opposite the lower end of the shaft, the handle extending outside the housing, wherein the shaft, handle and front structure are selectively moveable relative to the housing generally parallel to the first axis; and
a rear structure mounted to the housing and having a body portion extending generally perpendicularly to the first axis and an upper portion extending from an outer end of the body portion downwardly in a direction generally parallel to the first axis.
15. The anti-theft device of
16. The anti-theft device of
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 The first embodiment of the invention anti-theft device is seen in FIG. 1 in association with a motor vehicle including a floorboard 10, a fire wall 12, a transmission hump 14, and a brake pedal 16 including a pedal arm 18 and a pedal pad 20.
 The anti-theft device includes an outer elongated housing or strut member 22, a foot 24, an inner elongated shaft assembly 26, a detent tube 28, a lock assembly 30 and a disabling structure including a front clamp structure 32 and a rear clamp structure 34. All of the elements of the device are formed of a suitable ferrous material.
 Strut housing member 22 has an elongated tubular square cross-sectional configuration and includes an upper wall 22 a, side walls 22 b and 22 c, a bottom wall 22 d, a front wall end wall 22 e and a rear end wall 22 f. Side walls 22 b and 22 c are cut away at 22 g, and top wall 22 a is cut away at 22 h, to form an upwardly facing opening 22 i in the housing member 22.
 Foot 24 comprises a circular plate including a main body plate portion 24 a and a central lug portion 24 b having a bore 24 c.
 Shaft assembly 26 includes a shaft 36, a push rod 38, a spring 40, and a detent ball 42.
 Shaft 36 has a round cross-sectional configuration and includes a front end flange portion 36 a, a journal or bearing portion 36 b, a threaded portion 36 c, a detent portion 36 d, a locking portion 36 e, and a rear handle portion 36 f.
 Detent portion 36 d and locking portion 36 e define a central bore 36 g. Detent portion 36 d includes a detent aperture 36 h opening in central bore 36 g. Locking portion 36 e includes a plurality of pairs of aligned apertures 36 i, 36 j. Apertures 36 i are axially aligned with detent aperture 36 h and apertures 36 j are diametrically opposed to apertures 36 i.
 Push rod 38 has a round cross-section and is sized to fit slidably in bore 36 g. Push rod 38 includes a front portion 38 a, a main body portion 38 b, and a rear portion 38 c. A detent hollow 38 d is provided in front portion 38 a and a plurality of axially spaced locking through bores 38 e are provided in main body portion 38 b in axial alignment with detent hollow 38 d. The axial spacing of locking bores 38 e corresponds to the axial spacing of aperture pairs 36 i, 36 j in shaft 36.
 Spring 40 comprises a coil spring of known form and is sized to fit within bore 36 g.
 Detent ball 42 comprises a spherical ball member sized to seat in detent hollow 38 d and sized to project upwardly out of, but not upwardly through, detent aperture 36 h.
 Detent tube 28 has a square outer cross-sectional configuration and a round inner cross-sectional configuration. Tube 28 is sized to fit within the square cross-sectional configuration of housing 22. A plurality of axially spaced annular detent grooves 28 a are provided on the circular inner periphery of the detent tube. The inner periphery of the detent tube is sized to slidably receive shaft 36 and the detent grooves 28 a are spaced axially by an amount corresponding to the spacing between detent apertures pairs 36 i, 36 j in tube 36 and locking bores 38 e in push rod 38.
 A locking pin bore 28 b is provided in the top wall of the detent tube proximate the rear end of the tube. Bore 28 b opens at its inner end in one of the detent grooves 28 a.
 Lock assembly 30 includes a housing 44 integral with the upper wall 22 a of housing 22, a push button 46, a key 48, a pin tumbler mechanism (not shown) within housing 44, and a locking pin 50. Lock assembly 30 may, for example, be of the type available from the Chicago Lock Company of Chicago, Ill. as Part No. 1770.
 Front clamp structure 32 includes a clamp plate 52, a mounting plate 54, a bushing or actuator 56, and a cover sleeve 58.
 Clamp plate 52 includes a main body portion 52 a of planar configuration, a lower flange portion 52 b, a v-shaped cutout 52 c in the main body portion defining a pair of upper flange portions 52 d, and a square opening 52 e in main body portion 52 a having a size and configuration conforming to the size and configuration of housing 22.
 Mounting plate 54 is suitably secured to the rear face 52 f of the main body portion 52 a of clamp plate 52 in overlying relation to opening 52 e and defines a downwardly opening slot 54 a.
 Bushing 56 has a square outer periphery 56 a and a round inner periphery or bore 56 b sized to journal on the bearing portion 36 b of shaft 36. Bushing 56 is mounted in slot 54 a with its rear face 56 c flush with the rear face of mounting plate 54 and the rear portion 52 d of the bushing extending forwardly and axially through opening 52 e. The lower portion of bushing 56 coacts with opening 52 e to define a U-shaped groove 59 having a size and configuration conforming to the cross-sectional configuration of housing 22 proximate opening 22 i.
 Cover sleeve 58 has a square cross-sectional configuration and defines an inner periphery 58 a corresponding in size and configuration to opening 52 e in clamp plate 52 and sized to telescopically receive housing member 22. Sleeve 58 is suitably secured to the front face of clamp plate 52 in surrounding relation to opening 52 e.
 Rear clamp structure 34 includes a clamp plate 60, a nut or actuator 62 and a cover sleeve 64.
 Clamp plate 60 includes a main body portion 60 a, a lower flange portion 60 b, an upper flange portion 60 c, and a central rectangular open 60 d in main body portion 60 a. Nut 62 is positioned in opening 60 d and includes a threaded central bore 62 a sized to threadably coact with the threaded portion 36 c of shaft 36, a main body portion 62 b projecting rearwardly from plate 60, and shoulders 62 c defined on opposite sides of main body portion 62 b. Shoulders 62 c coact with opening 60 d and with the lower portion of main body portion 62 b to define a U-shaped groove 65 having a size and configuration conforming to the cross-sectional configuration of housing 22 proximate opening 22 i.
 Cover sleeve 64 has a square tubular cross-sectional and is sized to telescopically receive housing member 22. The front end 64 a of the sleeve is fitted over nut main body portion 62 b and suitably secured thereto as by welding.
 In the assembled relation of the various components of the invention anti-theft device, detent tube 28 is positioned in the rear end of housing 22 in abutting engagement with rear end wall 22 f; shaft assembly 26 is positioned within housing member 22 with shaft 36 passing through an aperture 22 g in rear end wall 22 f for slidable receipt within detent tube 28; push rod 38 is slidably positioned within the hollow portion 36 g of shaft 36 with rear end 38 c projecting from the handle portion 36 f of shaft 36 and with the forward end of the push rod 38 a positioned proximate the blind end 36 h of bore 36 g; spring 40 is positioned in bore 36 g between the forward end 38 a of push rod 38 and bore blind end 36 h so as to bear against the push rod; detent ball 42 is spaced from detent hollow 38 d so that push rod 38 urges the detent ball outwardly into engagement with a detent groove 28 a; nut portion 62 b of rear clamp structure 34 threadably receives the threaded portion 36 c of shaft 36 so as to mount clamp structure 34 on the shaft; bushing 36 of front clamp structure 32 is joumaled on the bearing portion 36 b of shaft 36 so as to mount clamp structure 32 on the shaft; the side walls 22 b, 22 c and bottom wall 22 d of housing 22, proximate opening 22 i, are slidably received in grooves 69 and 65 with nut shoulders 62 c and the lower edge of mounting plate 54 guiding on housing edges 22 g; front flange portion 36 a of shaft 36 is positioned against the front end 56 e of bushing 56; foot 24 is pivoted on the front end of housing 22 by a pin 65 passing through foot lug portion 24 b and through aligned apertures in lugs 22 h formed on the front wall 22 e of housing 22; a coil spring 66 surrounds pin 65 and urges the foot to a rest position from which it may move pivotally against the bias of the spring; cover sleeve 58 extends forwardly from clamp plate 52 in telescopic surrounding relation to housing 22 and in covering relation to opening 22 i; and cover sleeve 64 extends rearwardly from clamp plate 60 is surrounding telescopic relation to tube 22 and in covering relation to opening 22 i.
 The assembly of the components is facilitated by the fact that plates 52, 60, by virtue of their square opening 52 e, 60 d, may be slid over strut housing 22 to a position proximate opening 22 i whereafter the nut 62 and bushing 56 may be positioned on shaft 36 with the shaft positioned within housing 22, whereafter the nut 62 and bushing 56 may be secured to the plates 52,60. The assembled strut housing 22 and shaft 36 will be seen to constitute a strut assembly whose overall length may be selectively varied by a relative axial sliding movement of members 22 and 36 and which has a forward end defined by the forward end of the housing 22 and a rearward end defined by the rearward end of shaft 36.
 In the use of the invention anti-theft device, and with the clamp structures 32 and 34 in relatively axially separated positions, the device is positioned below the brake pedal 20 with the foot 24 proximate the fire wall 12, whereafter the device is moved upwardly to move the clamp structures into coacting positions forwardly and rearwardly of the brake pad so that the clamp structures embrace the pad, whereafter push rod 38 is pushed in to move detent hollow 38 d into alignment with detent ball 42 to allow the ball to drop into the detent hollow, whereafter strut housing 22 is slid forwardly relative to shaft 36 and relative to the disabling structure constituted by clamp structures 32 and 34 to firmly position foot 24 against the fire wall 12, whereafter push button 38 c is released to allow spring 40 to move the push rod rearwardly to urge detent ball 42 into locking engagement with a detent groove 28 a, whereafter handle 36 f is utilized to turn shaft 36 within housing 22 so as to advance clamp structure 34 toward clamp structure 32 to firmly clamp and entrap brake pad 20 therebetween, whereafter push button 46 of lock assembly 30 is depressed to move locking pin 50 transversely downwardly for passage through aligned locking apertures 36 i, 36 j in shaft 36 to the dotted line position seen in FIG. 2, whereby to lock the shaft 36 and strut housing 22 together to preclude relative axial or rotational movement between the strut housing and the pedal disabling structure constituted by clamp structures 32 and 34. It will be seen that clamp structure 34 comprises a lock member which is moveable relative to clamp structure 32 to clamp and entrap the pedal pad therebetween. It will further be seen that with the clamp structures clamped against the front and rear faces of the brake pedal 20, pedal arm 18 passes through cutout 52 i in clamp plate 52 and the rear edge 18 a of the pedal arm is received in a notch or cutout 60 e in the front edge of the top flange 62 of clamp plate 60.
 In the modification of the first embodiment seen in FIGS. 12-16, the structure and method for precluding axial and rotational movement of the shaft is modified. Specifically, the housing or strut 70 (replacing the strut housing 22) comprises a circular tube and includes an offset portion defining a horizontal rearwardly opening cavity 70 a receiving a pin tumbler key lock 72 controlled by key 48; the shaft 74 (replacing the shaft 36) includes a plurality of axially spaced annular serrations 74 a defining annular conical surfaces 74 b; several successive serrations include hexagonal peripheral edges 74 c; a detent wheel 76 is mounted on the hexagonal serrations with hexagonal central bore 76 a of the wheel seated over the hexagonal edges 74 c of the hexagonal serrations; detent wheel 76 is mounted for rotation in a bore 70 b defined by strut 70 so that rotational movement of shaft 74 rotates wheel 76 in bore 70 a; a plurality of circumferentially spaced axially extending teeth 76 b are provided on the outer circumference of the wheel 76; key lock 72 includes a first striker 78 having a lower tip 78 a arranged for detenting, ratcheting coaction with teeth 76 b; and key lock 72 further includes a second striker 80 having a lower tip 80 a arranged for detenting, ratcheting coaction with serrations 74 a.
 In the operation of the modified locking structure of FIGS. 12-16, shaft 74 is held against forward movement relative to strut 70 by ratcheting coaction between striker 80 and serrations 74 a and shaft 74 is held against clockwise rotation (as viewed in FIG. 14) by ratcheting coaction of striker 78 and detent wheel teeth 76 b. It will be understood that strikers 78 and 80 extend from key lock 72 in the absence of key 48, are resiliently supported within the key lock so as to move selectively upwardly to pass serrations 74 a and teeth 76 b, and are returned to their retracted positions generally flush with the cuter surface of the casing of key lock 72 upon insertion and turning of the key so that insertion and turning of the key has the effect of unlocking shaft 74 for both axial movement and rotational movement.
 The second embodiment of the invention anti-theft device seen in FIGS. 17-27, like the first embodiment, is intended for use in Association with a motor vehicle including a floorboard 10, a fire wall 12, a transmission hump 14 and a brake pedal assembly 16 including a pedal arm 18 and a pedal pad 20, all as shown in FIG. 1.
 The anti-theft device of FIGS. 17-27 includes a tube 100, a lock housing 102, a strut rod 104, a foot 105, an actuator rod 106, a handle 108, a gear 110, a lock bar 112, and a key lock 114.
 Tube 100 has a generally rectangular cross-sectional configuration and includes an axially extending slot 100 a in its upper wall 100 b and an opening 100 c provided in the top wall 100 b and side walls 100 d of the tube proximate the front end 100 e of the tube. Opening 100 c defines an entrance throat 100 f and is generally sized to accommodate pedal arm 18 of the pedal assembly.
 Lock housing 102 is a cast structure and is sized to telescopically receive the rear end 100 g of the tube and to be secured to the rear end of the tube as by welding. Housing 102 defines a central rectangular passage 102 a forming a continuation of the central rectangular passage of the tube and further defines a vertical key lock cavity 102 b.
 Strut rod 104 is formed of round bar stock and is slidably positioned within the hollow tube 100 along the lower wall 10 h of the tube. Strut rod 104 includes a forward end portion 104 a passing slidably through a plug 114 positioned in the front end 100 e of the tube and a rearward end portion 104 b defining an upwardly facing rack structure 104 c.
 Foot 105 is generally similar to foot 24 of the first embodiment and is suitably secured to the forward end portion 104 a of strut rod 104 as for example by a press-on spherical, universal interconnection therebetween including a spherical front end configuration 104 d on the extreme forward end of strut rod 104.
 Actuator rod 106 is also formed of round bar stock and includes a forward end portion 106 a defining a downwardly facing rack formation 106 b, a rearward end portion 106 c of round bar stock configuration, and an intermediate portion 106 d defining a plurality of axial spaced annular serrations 106 e each defining a conical annular surface 106 f. Actuator rod 106 is positioned axially within tube 100 in overlying relation to strut rod 104 with the rear end 106 c of the rod passing slidably through a bore 102 c defined at the rear end of lock housing 102.
 Gear 108 is mounted on a pin 118 secured in the side walls 100 d of tube 100 and drivingly interengages rack structure 106 b at its upper periphery and rack structure 104 c at its lower periphery so that the gear functions to convert rearward movement of rod 106 to forward movement of rod 104.
 Handle 110 has a T-configuration including a handle portion 110 a and a hub portion 110 b fixedly secured to the rear end portion 106 c of rod 106. Pulling movement on handle 110 moves rod 106 rearwardly and thereby moves rod 104 forwardly to extend the forward portion 104 a of the strut rod 104 forwardly from the front end 100 e of tube 100.
 Lock bar 112 has a generally rectangular cross-sectional configuration and includes a rear end portion 112 a defining a ratcheting detent structure 112 b along a side face 112 c of the bar and a forward finger portion 112 d having an angled lower face 112 e. Lock bar 112 is sized to fit slidably in the upper region of tube 100 in overlying relation to actuator rod 106 and includes a handle 120 fixedly secured at its lower end to the bar and passing upwardly through slot 100 a in tube 100.
 Key lock 114 preferably has a pin tumbler configuration and includes a first or upper striker 122 and a second or lower striker 124. Strikers 122 and 124 are spring biased in known manner to an extended position and are movable to a retracted position substantially flush with the casing 114 a of the key lock in response to insertion and turning of key 125. Upper or first striker 122 detentingly coacts with detent portion 112 b of lock bar 112 so as to allow free forward axial movement of the lock bar and preclude return movement of the lock bar unless and until the striker is withdrawn by insertion and turning of key 125. Lower or second striker 124 similarly coacts with serrations 106 e on actuator rod 106 to allow free rearward axial movement of rod 106 (and thereby forward axial movement of strut rod 104) but preclude return forward movement of the actuator rod (and return rearward movement of the strut rod) unless and until the striker is withdrawn by insertion and turning of key 125′. As shown, striker 124 may project from a recessed flat 114 b on the casing of the key lock to accommodate the configurations End disposition of the various parts.
 In the use of the anti-theft device of the second embodiment of the invention (and with lock bar 112 in its retracted or open position and strut rod 104 in a retracted position) the device is positioned alongside pedal arm 18; the device is moved laterally to move pedal arm 18 through the entrance throat 100 f to position the pedal arm within opening 100 so that the forward and rearward edges 100 d and 100 e of the opening 100 are positioned on opposite sides of the pedal arm in embracing relation to the pedal arm; handle 120 is utilized to slide lock bar 112 forwardly to a closed position wherein it obstructs entrance throat 100 f and closes the opening 100 so as to entrap pedal arm 18 within opening 100; and handle 110 is pulled rearwardly to move actuator rod 106 rearwardly and move strut rod 104 forwardly to plant foot 105 firmly against the fire wall 12 of the vehicle. As lock bar 112 is moved forwardly to entrap the pedal arm, the bar is locked in its forward entrapping position by the coaction of striker 122 and detent structure 112 b, and as strut rod 104 moves forwardly to plant foot 105 against the fire wall, the strut rod is locked in its forward position by the coaction of striker 124 and detent serrations 106 e on actuator rod 106.
 Opening 100 is configured to accommodate a wide variety of pedal arm cross-sectional configurations and includes a forward, undercut portion 100 f bordered by forward edges 100 d and an upwardly angled edges 100 g. As the pedal arm 18 is moved laterally into opening 100 it initially assumes the position in the opening shown in dash lines in FIG. 27 whereafter, prior to forward movement of lock bar 112, the entire anti-theft device is moved rearwardly relative to the pedal arm to move the forward edge 18 b of the pedal arm into undercut opening portion 100 f and into engagement with front opening edges 100 d (as seen in dotted lines) whereafter lock bar 112 is moved forwardly to its dash line position where finger 112 obstructs entrance throat 100 f to close opening 100 and a shoulder 112 f, defined between lower finger surface 112 e and the lower face 112 g of the bar, engages the rearward edge 18 a of the arm to clamp the arm between shoulder 112 f and edges 100 d. The size and shape of opening 100 will be seen to accommodate pedal arms of varying cross-sectional configuration with the forward edge of the pedal arm in some cases engaging the forward edges 100 d of the opening and in some cases engaging the upwardly angled opening edges 100 g and with the rearward edge of the arm in some cases engaged by shoulder 112 f and in some cases engaged by angled surface 112 e.
 In either disclosed embodiment of the anti-theft device, the brake pedal is totally disabled so that, even if someone is able to gain unauthorized entry into the vehicle, the vehicle still cannot be driven since the brake pedal cannot be depressed to release the brake/shift interlock and allow the transmission to be shifted out of the park position. Further, even if the brake/shift interlock can somehow be defeated and the vehicle transmission shifted into a drive gear, the vehicle is still undrivable since it has no brakes.
 Unauthorized removal of the invention anti-theft device from the brake pedal, in either embodiment, is extremely difficult as compared to prior art anti-theft devices. For example, whereas a typical prior art anti-theft device can be defeated by shears or snipping devices, the sheer bulk and complexity of the invention device makes it extremely difficult, if not practically impossible, to achieve unauthorized removal of the invention device from the brake pedal.
 Authorized removal of the device of the first embodiment from the brake pedal is accomplished by insertion of the key 48 in the push button 46 of the lock assembly and turning of the key to withdraw the locking pin 50, whereafter the shaft 36 may be rotated relative to the housing 22 to move the rear clamp structure away from the front clamp structure, whereafter push rod 38 may be depressed to drop detent ball 42 into detent hollow 36 d to allow the tube 22 and shaft 36 to be relatively telescoped, whereafter the device can be dropped downwardly out of engagement with the brake pedal.
 Authorized removal of the device of the second embodiment from the brake pedal is accomplished by insertion of key 48 into the key lock 114 and turning of the key which has the effect of moving both of the strikers to a retracted position so as to allow the lock bar to be retracted to its open position to allow the entrapped pedal arm to escape and so as to allow forward movement of actuator rod 106 to generate rearward movement of strut rod 104 to pull the foot away from the fire wall.
 The invention will be seen to provide improved anti-theft devices that are relatively simple in construction and operation but yet which are extremely difficult to defeat once installed.
 Whereas preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the first embodiment of the invention device shown in disabling relation to the brake pedal of a motor vehicle;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view showing the components of the device in exploded relation;
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are perspective, front and rear views of a front clamp structure utilized in the invention device;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cover sleeve forming a part of the front clamp structure;
FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are perspective, front and rear views of a rear clamp structure utilized in the invention device;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a cover sleeve forming a part of the rear clamp structure;
FIGS. 12-16 are detail views showing a modification of the first embodiment of FIGS. 1-11;
FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention device;
FIGS. 18 and 19 are cross-sectional and top views of the second embodiment;
FIGS. 20-24 are detail views showing components of the second embodiment; and
FIGS. 25-27 are detail views showing aspects of the operation of the second embodiment.
 This invention relates to locking devices for motor vehicles and more particularly to a motor vehicle anti-theft device which disables the brake pedal of the motor vehicle.
 Many anti-theft devices have been proposed to prevent the theft of motor vehicles. The prior art devices include alarm devices which sound an audible signal upon an attempt to force entry into the vehicle, various devices to disable the steering mechanism of the vehicle, various devices to preclude operation of the control pedals of the vehicle, and various devices interlocking a control pedal and the steering wheel to preclude operation of either. However, the alarm devices are relatively easily defeated by a knowledgeable thief and the various devices disabling the control pedal and/or steering wheel are relatively easily defeated by suitable shearing or snipping tools.
 This invention is directed to the provision of an improved anti-theft device and methodology for a motor vehicle.
 More specifically, this invention is directed to the provision of an improved anti-theft device and methodology for a motor vehicle which is simple and inexpensive in construction and which is very difficult for even a very experienced and knowledgeable thief to defeat.
 The invention anti-theft device is of the type that disables a control pedal of the vehicle to preclude operation of the control pedal. According to the invention, the device includes an axially extending strut structure having a forward foot portion; a disabling structure mounted to the strut structure and configured to be positioned on opposite sides of a portion of the pedal assembly to disable the pedal assembly; means mounting the strut structure for axially forward movement relative to the disabling structure; and means for locking the strut structure and the disabling structure against contracting axial movement. With this arrangement, and following positioning of the disabling structure on opposite sides of the pedal assembly portion, the strut structure may be moved axially forwardly relative to the disabling structure to move the foot portion into engagement with the vehicle fire wall whereafter the strut structure may be locked relative to the disabling structure to totally disable the pedal.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the disabling structure includes a lock member movable relative to another portion of the disabling structure; the locking means includes a key lock having first and second extendable strikers movable to retracted positions by the key; the first striker is operative when extended to preclude movement of the lock member; and the second striker is operative when extended to preclude axial movement of the strut structure relative to the disabling structure. This arrangement allows a single key to be utilized for locking the lock member as well as the strut structure.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the pedal assembly includes a pedal arm and a pedal pad; the disabling structure is intended to be positioned on opposite sides of the pedal arm; the disabling structure defines an opening sized to receive the pedal arm and having an entrance throat; and the lock member comprises a lock bar mounted for movement between an open position in which the entrance throat is open to allow insertion of the pedal arm into the opening and a closed position in which the bar obstructs the entrance throat to trap the pedal arm in the opening. This arrangement provides a simple and inexpensive means of trapping and disabling the pedal arm of the pedal assembly.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the disabling structure includes an axially extending tubular member; the opening is defined in the tubular member; the lock bar is mounted for sliding movement within the tubular member between its open and closed positions; and the strut structure comprises an elongated strut rod including a rearward portion mounted for sliding movement within the tubular member and a forward portion extending forwardly from the forward end of the tubular member and attached to the foot portion. This arrangement provides a compact and inexpensive package.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the device further includes a lock housing rigidly secured to a rearward end of the tubular member and defining a key lock cavity receiving a double striker key lock; the lock bar functions at its forward end, with the lock bar in its closed position, to block the entrance throat of the opening and includes a rearward end positioned proximate the key lock cavity and defining a detent structure; a first striker of the key lock is operative when extended to coact with the lock bar detent structure to lock the lock bar in its closed position; and the second striker of the key lock is operative when extended to preclude contracting axial movement of the strut rod relative to the tubular member. This arrangement provides a simple and positive locking arrangement with respect to both the lock bar and the strut rod.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the device further includes an actuator rod positioned slidably within the tubular member and drive means operative in response to rearward movement of the actuator rod relative to the tubular member to generate forward movement of the strut rod relative to the tubular member; the actuator rod includes a detent portion positioned proximate the key lock cavity; and the second striker coacts with the detent portion of the actuator rod. This specific arrangement provides an effective means of moving the strut rod forwardly into engagement with the fire wall and providing releasable locking coaction between the second striker and the detent portion of the actuator rod.
 According to a further feature of the invention, the drive means includes a rack structure at the forward end of the actuator rod, a rack structure at the rearward end of the strut rod, and a gear interposed between the rack structures and operative in response to rearward movement of the actuator rod to generate forward movement of the strut rod. This specific arrangement facilitates the forward movement of the strut rod in response to a simple rearward movement of the actuator rod.
 The invention further provides a methodology for preventing theft of a motor vehicle of the type having a control pedal assembly spaced rearwardly from the fire wall of the vehicle. According to the invention methodology, a disabling device is provided including a disabling structure and an axially extending strut structure movable axially relative to the disabling structure and having a forward foot portion; the disabling structure is positioned on opposite sides of a portion of the pedal assembly to disable the pedal assembly; the strut structure is moved axially forward relative to the disabling structure to move the forward foot portion into engagement with the vehicle fire wall; and the strut structure and disabling structure are locked against contracting axial movement. This methodology provides a simple process for quickly and readily disabling the pedal.
 According to a further feature of the invention methodology, the disabling structure includes a lock member movable relative to another portion of the disabling structure and the method includes the further step of moving the lock member relative to the other portion of the disabling structure. This methodology allows the disabling structure to firmly engage the pedal portion and firmly locks the disabling structure with respect to the vehicle fire wall.
 This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 10/340,926, filed Jan. 13, 2003, now U.S. Pat. No. ______, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 08/686,220, filed Jul. 23, 1996, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,001, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/112,555 filed on Aug. 26, 1993, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,537,846