LoJack Notes that While Vehicle Theft Declines, National Recovery Rate of Stolen Vehicles Reaches 20+ Year High

Sophisticated Tactics of Organized Crime Rings Drives Drop

Westwood, MA - May 17, 2010 - 
What: While the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB’s) Hot Spots release issued today indicates that the national vehicle theft rate declined for the sixth consecutive year, LoJack Corporation cautions consumers that the national recovery rate is at its lowest point in over 20 years. In fact, 43 percent of vehicles stolen in 2008 (latest FBI data) were never recovered, amounting to 411,444 stolen vehicles not returned to their rightful owners.  LoJack, developer of the industry’s most effective stolen vehicle recovery system with a better than 90 percent success rate, indicated that the sophisticated tactics of organized crime rings and their ability to outsmart so many of today’s anti-theft devices such as smart keys and car alarms is the real story behind these numbers.
Who: Theft prevention expert D.J. Thompson, Director of Law Enforcement for LoJack and a former officer with the Connecticut State Police, is available for interviews and offers the following advice:  “Unfortunately, the decline in vehicle theft is deceptively positive.  Although fewer vehicles are being stolen, a far greater percentage of those vehicles are not being recovered, making it all the more important for consumers to be vigilant about protecting their vehicle from theft—and the organized crime rings that are often behind this issue.  Sadly, these sophisticated criminals know how to outsmart smart keys and disable other immobilizers, leaving many vehicles vulnerable to theft. That’s why we continue to recommend a layered approach to theft protection, so that consumers can do what it takes to keep their vehicles safe.
Facts: How Professional Thieves’ Dirty Work Can Cost You Your Vehicle
Contrary to what many think, auto theft is typically not the work of a teenager out for a joyride or seeking adventure.  Rather, auto theft is a big, multi-billion dollar business opportunity for professional thieves and an increasing number of organized crime rings see it as easy money. Further, auto theft is often just one crime that is committed in a series of other, more serious crimes such as burglary, kidnapping, identity theft and even acts of terrorism. 
What Happens to Your Vehicle When it’s Stolen by a Professional Thief?
  • Many end up in chop shops, where the vehicle is stripped down to its components, which are then sold separately on the black market.  By selling individual parts, thieves can make two to four times the vehicle’s actual worth.
  • Other vehicles are shipped overseas and sold illegally.  Hundreds of thousands of stolen vehicles are transported across U.S. borders each year.
  • Some are used to commit other more serious crimes.
  • The rest are simply resold as used vehicles, most often to unsuspecting customers.
What Can Consumers Do to Keep Their Vehicles Safe?
By combining common sense approaches, theft prevention devices and tracking/recovery systems, consumers can protect their vehicles from theft. 
The first important step: Use Common Sense Measures.  Never leave keys in the car with the engine running.  Don’t hide a spare key in the vehicle.  Close all windows and lock all doors when leaving your vehicle.  Park in a well-lit area and, when at home, keep your car in the garage.  Don’t leave valuables visible in your car.
The second step: Use Theft Prevention Products.  A thief may be less inclined to steal your car if it has visible and audible warning devices like a wheel lock or alarm system.  Immobilizers—which include smart keys, kill switches and fuel cut-off devices—can offer another means of protection.  While the professionals can often disable these devices, they do offer another means of deterrence.
The third step: Use a Tracking and Recovery System.  Since thieves can typically disarm most theft prevention devices, recovery systems provide the peace of mind that you’ll get your car back – often quickly – in the event it is stolen.  The most effective systems are directly integrated into law enforcement, use Radio Frequency technology, which has proven to be optimal for recovering stolen vehicles, and are covert so they cannot be disengaged.

About LoJack Corporation
LoJack Corporation, the company that invented the stolen vehicle recovery market more than 25 years ago, is the global leader in finding and recovering a wide range of mobile assets including cars, construction equipment and motorcycles-having recovered nearly $4 billion USD in stolen assets worldwide. In today's rapidly changing world, LoJack's core competencies are more valuable and more relevant than ever as they are now being applied into new areas, such as the prevention, detection and recovery of stolen cargo and finding and rescuing people with cognitive conditions such as autism and Alzheimer's.

For more information, visit www.lojack.com, www.autotheftblog.com, www.youtube.com/lojack, www.twitter.com/LoJackCorp or www.Facebook.com/LoJackCorp.


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