— The top stolen vehicle and construction equipment recoveries for 2004 using LoJack's Stolen Vehicle Recovery System underscore two key trends, the company reported on January 12:
The continuing rise of vehicle/equipment theft and the fact that it is big business run by professional thieves, according to Joseph Abely, chief executive officer, LoJack Corporation. Marking the year with its 75,000th U.S. recovery, LoJack offers covert radio frequency-based systems that are used by law enforcement to recover stolen mobile assets and deliver a 90 percent success rate.
Here are LoJack's top recoveries for 2004:
"Most Dangerous Felon" Recovery — In North Miami, criminals forced a woman out of her car at gunpoint and sped off with her vehicle. Police tracked the vehicle via air and ground units using LoJack. After taking the police on a chase through several towns and crashing into two vehicles, the suspects were captured by police. One was wanted for homicide and the other in violation of parole.
"Fastest" Recovery — In this California recovery involving a Honda Civic, police tracked down the vehicle and uncovered a chop shop only six minutes after the owner filed a stolen vehicle report.
"Most Valuable" Recovery — Thieves stole a generator equipped with LoJack from a construction company in Las Vegas. Police tracked it to a complex in Los Angeles, CA, where they discovered a major theft ring — extending from California to Nevada to Missouri — with hundreds of pieces of stolen equipment valued at $2.5 to $3 million dollars. The recovery underscores the nearly $1 billion annual cost of construction equipment/commercial vehicle theft.
"Recovery Involving the Best Helicopter Chase" — In this recovery, California police used ground vehicles and three LoJack-equipped helicopters to track down and apprehend the thieves of a Corvette who were on the run. Moral of this story is you can run, but you can't hide from LoJack!
"Longest Distance" Recovery — A Tampa, Fla.-based dealership discovered one of its Cadillac Escalades equipped with LoJack was stolen from the lot. Within minutes of receiving the report, police tracked down the vehicle 3,000 miles away to a residence in Los Angeles.
"Best Recovery Involving a Drug Bust" — Police in Las Vegas, NV tracked a stolen pick-up truck with LoJack to the front of a mini-warehouse complex. Upon entering, police apprehended five suspects and discovered something far more dangerous — a highly volatile methamphetamine lab on the brink of explosion.
"Most Dramatic Carjacking" Recovery — A couple in Charlotte, NC was walking their dog when thieves forced them at gunpoint to walk to their vehicle, drive to a bank machine and withdraw cash. Fortunately, one of the victims escaped and contacted police, who used LoJack to track down the vehicle. Within 30 minutes, police apprehended the criminals, a 9-mm handgun, and 11 rounds of ammunition.
The LoJack System is directly integrated with law enforcement (LoJack's police tracking computers are installed in police vehicles, helicopters, and aircraft). The covert LoJack System includes a small wireless radio-frequency transceiver that is hidden in a vehicle in one of 25 possible locations.
Once the vehicle is reported stolen to the police, the vehicle identification number is matched to the LoJack System by state law enforcement computers and the system is activated by police, emitting a silent radio signal from the hidden radio transceiver. Law-enforcement vehicles and aircraft follow these signals to track down the vehicle.