Thieves Use GPS on Stolen Car to Locate Owner’s Residence and Burglarize It; LoJack Helps Police Find Vehicle and Apprehend the Criminals

  • March 30, 2012

A recent recovery in Medina, WA, in which police used LoJack Police Tracking Computers to find and recover a stolen Lexus, demonstrates how today’s car thieves are using in-vehicle technology, like GPS navigation systems, to find an owner’s residence, enter and burglarize it.  Fortunately, in this situation, the 2012 Lexus GX 460 SUV was equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, enabling police to find the vehicle and apprehend the thieves in just a little over an hour after the vehicle was reported stolen.

“This recovery story is a cautionary tale for any of us who have programmed our residence as ‘Home’ in our vehicle’s navigation system,” said Patrick Clancy, Vice President, Law Enforcement, LoJack Corporation.  “While this may be a great convenience to owners, it can also make crime more convenient for thieves, enabling them to easily hit the home button, find the owner’s house, enter it with a garage door opener inside the vehicle and ransack the premises.”

Here’s How LoJack Helped to Foil these Thieves:
While the Lexus owner was having lunch at a restaurant in Redmond, WA, thieves stole her Lexus SUV that she had purchased less than two weeks prior.   When she left the restaurant and discovered her vehicle was missing, she immediately reported the theft to the Redmond Police Department, who entered the data into the state crime computer, activating the LoJack System. Approximately one hour later, on the tracking computer installed in his patrol car, an officer with the Medina Police Department received the silent LoJack homing signal transmitting from the stolen Lexus.  He quickly located the car abandoned on the street, not far from the owner’s residence.  When the owner arrived at her residence, she discovered her home had been burglarized and realized that the thieves had gained access through the garage by using the opener in her car.  Police apprehended the suspects and arrests are anticipated.

Keeping Your Vehicle Safe: LoJack’s Theft Protection Tips

Common Sense Measures:
LoJack strongly recommends that vehicle owners program their residences into their navigation systems as a destination, not as home. Also, never leave computers, cell phones or portable navigation devices in plain sight in your vehicle.  Keep all valuables—including personal information, such as letters with your address on them—hidden from view.

Other common sense approaches include: 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.

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.

Tracking and Recovery System.  Since thieves can typically disarm most theft prevention devices including GPS and Telematics solutions, 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 easily disengaged.