LoJack® System Helps Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and TRAP Recover Stolen Chevrolet Tahoe and Uncover Chop Shop

  • April 28, 2015

The owners of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to report that their vehicle was stolen.  The LASD Lakewood verified the theft and entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers which automatically activated the LoJack® System concealed in the Chevrolet.

Only 21 minutes later deputies from the LASD Century station picked up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen Chevrolet with the LoJack Police Tracking Computers (PTC) that are installed in patrol vehicles and aircraft.  Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC, the deputies tracked the Chevrolet to a body shop in the area of Imperial Hwy and Fernwood in the city of Lynwood.  The deputies could see the stolen Tahoe parked inside the shop.  The deputies approached the body shop and could see a subject in the beginning stages of removing parts from the Tahoe.  The deputies detained the subject and confirmed it was the stolen Chevrolet Tahoe.  The deputies detained a second subject inside the office area of the shop and a third subject to the rear of the shop. In the office the deputies found a loaded handgun on top of a bundle of what appeared to be marijuana.  During the deputies’ initial sweep of the location they saw chopped vehicle parts throughout the business. The subject detained in the office was the owner of the body shop and admitted he knew the Chevrolet Tahoe was stolen and sold marijuana because his body shop business was slow.

The patrol deputies arrested the first two subjects they contacted and transported them to the LASD Century station.  While at the station the deputies contacted TRAP (Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention).  The TRAP investigators took over the investigation.  TRAP returned to the body shop with consent to search and located an illegal assault rifle.  The TRAP investigators identified chopped vehicle parts and an engine to three additional stolen vehicles.  The vehicles were a 2002 GMC Denali, 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and a Chevrolet Silverado.  The investigators also found parts to a Mercedes Benz but were unable to identify the vehicle they belonged to.  The only vehicle that was not chopped was the Chevrolet with the LoJack® System.  The suspects will be charged with running a Chop Shop and illegal firearms violations.

The LoJack® System was installed in the Chevrolet Tahoe in December 2001 at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, California.