How Good is Your Engine Immobiliser?

Just some incidents happened to my car yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I parked my car, a '99 Nissan Pulsar, outside our office at 7:15am because I was in hurry to catch a cab to go to the airport to catch the plane to go to Melbourne at 7:45am. But after I landed in Melbourne, I realised that I have accidentally lost my car key - possibly on the cab on the way to the airport. Therefore later on in the evening when I flied back from Melbourne, I could not pick up my car outside the office, but had to go back home directly.

Then this morning I went to work with the spare car key I had. However, there is a problem. Even though I can open the door of the car with this spare key, I cannot start up the car! It has been locked by the engine immobiliser, but I only had one remote control, which was lost yesterday. D'oh. As always, NRMA came to rescue. This guy jumped down from the road-side service van, and opened up the electronic compartment underneth the instruments. He has bypassed the connections between the engine immobiliser and the engine itself, and started up the car successfully - all under 5 minutes. Gee. That looks easy.

And that makes me think whether an engine immobiliser is really that useful as a deterrent against thief. If it is not that much harder to bypass the engine immobiliser circuit than starting up the car directly, what's the use of it? Or is it just my particular brand of immobiliser crippled? Hmm...