The owner of a 2006 Toyota Tundra was working — delivering newspapers — when he stopped for a cup of coffee and left his vehicle’s engine running. When he went inside, the suspects saw an opportunity to jump in and drive off with the vehicle.
The owner immediately contacted the Lodi, CA Police Department and reported the theft. The vehicle information was entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computers, which automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the vehicle.
Less than 30 minutes later, officers with the California Highway Patrol and the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office began to receive the silent LoJack signal emitting from the stolen Toyota. The officers were able to track and locate the Toyota parked and abandoned in the rear of an apartment complex in Lodi. The officers contacted the San Joaquin Delta R.A.T.T Auto Theft Task Force, who responded and set up a surveillance of the vehicle in hopes of catching the thieves.
Approximately six hours later, two suspects entered the vehicle and started to drive away with the stolen vehicle. Task Force members conducted a felony stop and took a male driver and female passenger into custody. The male driver was arrested two months ago for auto theft and was awaiting trial on that case. The female is currently on parole for auto theft.
Investigators questioned the male suspect, who later admitted to stealing four other vehicles in the past two weeks. He took the officers to three of the four vehicles, which had yet to be recovered. The suspect stated he specifically looks for vehicles that are left running by their owners during the early morning hours.
Note: Portions of this story were obtained from the San Joaquin Delta R.A.T.T Auto Theft Task Force