Westwood, MA - December 8, 2010
- LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN), the company that invented the stolen vehicle recovery market, today released its first Vehicle Theft Alert, which revealed that auto theft from car dealership lots has escalated over the past two months. Between September 21 and November 23, 2010, there have been at least 12 instances – in nine different states – of dealer lot theft foiled by the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System
. Those figures were reported by law enforcement to LoJack.
“The recent increase in dealer lot theft is alarming because it underscores how sophisticated and brazen today’s professional thieves have become. These clever thieves are targeting both new and used car dealers, are using a variety of methods to steal vehicles and, in some instances, are even employing violence,” said Patrick Clancy, Vice President of Law Enforcement, LoJack Corporation. “Dealers need to be aware of this trend and should take measures to protect their dealerships and the vehicles on their lots.”
How the Thieves Targeted Dealers…and How LoJack Stymied Their Attempts
According to the LoJack data, fraud is one of the leading factors behind many of these recent thefts. In one instance, a suspect purchased two vehicles—a 2010 Lincoln Navigator and a 2011 Ford F-350 pick-up truck—using fraudulent documents and a fictitious business name. The fraud became apparent over time. Once an investigation confirmed that the vehicles were stolen, the LoJack unit that the dealer had installed in the Navigator was activated. Within only four minutes, the vehicle was tracked and located. A suspect was taken into custody. The F-350, which was not LoJack-equipped, has not been recovered.
Breaking into a dealership and stealing keys is another major factor behind these recent thefts. In one instance, a thief broke into a dealership during the night and stole a Hummer H2 along with the keys to 60 other vehicles parked on the lot. Once the theft was discovered and reported, the police entered the VIN number into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) police computer, which activated the LoJack signal in the Hummer. Less than two hours after activation the Hummer was located in a heavily wooded area. All 60 keys were still inside the vehicle.
Perhaps the boldest of these recent thefts involved three men who approached a used car dealer and asked for a test ride. During the ride, one of the men pulled a weapon and the other two forced the salesman out of the vehicle, carjacking the Mercedes E-500. Fortunately for the dealer, the vehicle was equipped with LoJack, which was automatically activated upon filing the police report. Only 14 minutes after activation, a police helicopter picked up the signal and led detectives to the vehicle. The ensuing investigation led to the arrest of three people and the recovery of the Mercedes and a second vehicle that had also been carjacked.
Overall, seven suspects have been arrested as a result of these dealership recoveries.
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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