WESTWOOD, MA - It's been a busy summer for LoJack, the company said. Recent recoveries have featured the fraudulent use of credit cards, a carjacking, a chop shop operation and a car targeted for parts.
In these recoveries, LoJack's Radio Frequency technology -- which operates even if a stolen vehicle is located in a concrete garage, steel container or dense foliage -- helped law enforcement thwart the best efforts of vehicle thieves.
"These stolen vehicle recovery stories illustrate a variety of ways today's professional thieves steal vehicles. What they also show is how the LoJack System is instrumental in helping police foil their attempts, which enables law enforcement to put these criminals behind bars," said Patrick Clancy, vice president of law enforcement for LoJack Corp.
Below are LoJack's top summer recoveries:
-- An exotic car rental company near the Miami International Airport rented a LoJack-equipped black 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo along with a white 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo -- worth a combined value of $370,000 -- to two men. When the company discovered that fraudulent credit cards were allegedly used in the transaction, they contacted the Miami-Dade Police Department, which immediately activated the LoJack System on the black Lamborghini. Police picked up the radio frequency signal just a little more than an hour later and tracked it to a concrete underground garage. Both vehicles were recovered and returned to the rental car company.
-- The owner of a 2005 Chevrolet Impala was allegedly carjacked and pushed into his vehicle's trunk, and the suspects then sped off. When they stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle owner said he managed to pop open the lid, escape on foot and immediately notify the San Antonio Police Department. The vehicle was equipped with LoJack, so police activated the system and picked up the signal from the stolen Impala only 45 minutes later. Officers tracked and located the vehicle and arrested two suspects, who were charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Both were held on bail charges of more than $200,000.
-- While the owner of a 2005 Dodge Ram was shopping in Phoenix, thieves were busy stealing the LoJack-equipped vehicle from the lot where it was parked. When the victim discovered the theft, he immediately contacted police, who activated the system. Only 10 minutes later, a detective picked up the signal and followed it to an apartment complex where surveillance was set up. There, another stolen Dodge Ram was discovered. Police followed two suspects as they drove the vehicles to a gas station, where the drivers stopped for fuel. Detectives moved in and after a foot chase arrested five suspects. Two additional suspects were later captured, amounting to a total of seven arrests. Officers also recovered a handgun from one of the stolen Ram pickups.
-- The owner of a 2008 Yamaha motorcycle discovered his bike was stolen and immediately reported it to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Within minutes, officers picked up the silent LoJack signal and located the stolen bike parked in a residential garage in Las Vegas. The Auto Theft Task Force responded with a search warrant and located not only the stolen Yamaha but two other stolen bikes, as well as a stolen jet ski and trailer -- all in only 64 minutes. A total of three suspects (two of whom were hiding in an attic with a sawed-off rifle) were taken into custody and booked in Clark County Jail.
-- A thief used a screwdriver to start a 1999 GMC Yukon. Once the owner became aware of the theft, he contacted local police. Eleven minutes after the LoJack System was activated, an officer with the Compton School (CA) Police Department picked up the signal from the stolen vehicle. A second patrol car also picked up the LoJack signal and the two officers spotted the suspect driving the vehicle. They attempted to stop the vehicle in traffic, but the suspect escaped on foot into a residential area and began running through neighborhood yards. Police eventually caught and arrested the suspect, who admitted he was paid to bring the stolen vehicle to a tire store to have the rims and tires removed. The matter remains under investigation.
LoJack's Stolen Vehicle Recovery System operates in 28 states and the District of Columbia, and in more than 30 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.