Today we are pleased to share with you a blog post from our friends at www.CarInsurance.org which includes their take on a recent LoJack success story in which a Phoenix Arizona man attempted to commit insurance fraud but was busted thanks to LoJack.
Insurance Fraud Goes Awry Thanks to LoJack
Many police cruisers are equipped with LoJack recovery systems, leading law enforcement right to the location of a stolen auto. (lehighvalleylive.com)
We’ve seen a number of questionable tactics conducted to commit insurance fraud in the past, such as registering sports cars as “farm” vehicles to obtain lower policy premiums as well as staged accidents, which are standard tools of the trade for fraudsters, especially in states with no-fault insurance systems in place.
But this is the first time we’ve ever heard of a criminal dumb enough to attempt a false case of grand theft auto when their automobile was equipped with a LoJack theft recovery device on board.
The Victorville Daily Press reports that Ricardo Felix, aged 31 and of Phoenix, Arizona was arrested after reporting his car stolen to police and his insurance company after the vehicle was located thanks to the LoJack system installed on the automobile.
San Bernardino County Sheriffs arrested Felix for grand theft auto and insurance fraud after locating the vehicle he had reported stolen at the home of a family member, hidden behind the residence.
LoJack says that 90 percent of all stolen cars, trucks and SUVs equipped with their Stolen Vehicle Recovery System have been recovered, many within a few hours. And apparently, the system works just as well in preventing out-and-out insurance fraud.
Granted, the would-be insurance fraudster didn’t appear to know his car was equipped with LoJack, but still, the scheme seemed doomed from the start, since it’s pretty difficult to move a stolen car without a chop shop to cut it up and sell it off as parts.
LoJack Warns Drivers of GPS Threats
While the case above is a cautionary tale about how insurance fraud can go wrong, another recent case involving LoJack serves as warning to car owners everywhere that GPS systems, both those installed as standard equipment as well as aftermarket devices installed by drivers can serve as a treasure trove of data for criminals, even giving them a map and the “keys” to your house.
In this particular case, a 2012 Lexus GX 460 SUV, equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, was pinched while the owner had lunch.
“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.”
And that’s exactly what the thieves in this case did. The Lexus, purchased less than two weeks before it was stolen, was reported to Redmond Police Department in Washington state. Within an hour of the police being notified, an officer in a patrol car picked up the LoJack homing signal and located the stolen Lexus, and it had been abandoned on a street not far from the owner’s home.
Why? Because the thieves who stole the car utilized the on-board GPS system to locate and then burglarize the Lexus owner’s residence, meaning in the course of just an hour or so, the unfortunate Lexus owner not only had their car stolen, but her home broken into and robbed as well. The crooks simply used her garage door opener to gain access to the house.
Even though the Lexus was recovered and the suspects were apprehended, the burglary of the owner’s home could have been prevented by not programming her residence into the GPS system as “home.” Other tips offered by LoJack to prevent such crimes include:
- If you do have your residence into your GPS system, program it as a destination, rather than labeling it as “home.”
- Don’t leave computers, cell phones or any portable GPS or navigation device in clear view – meaning visible in plain sight – in your automobile.
- Keep all valuables in your vehicle, including personal information, such as letters or documents that feature your address out of sight.
For more information and a no obligation insurance quote visit www.carinsurance.org
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