The FBI recently released its 2015 Crime Report, which revealed an increase in auto theft with more than 700,000 vehicles stolen last year. Additionally, the total dollar losses from motor vehicle theft grew in tandem, from $4.5 billion to $4.9 billion, while the average dollar loss per stolen vehicle also increased by 7%.
As LoJack has previously noted, thieves are targeting more valuable cars, and with newer models, finding ways to get around anti-theft security features. Thieves are adapting to the innovations within the automotive industry, and are now utilizing tech-enabled methods to steal high-end vehicles. So while vehicles have had anti-theft technology built in for a number of years, thieves are learning how to circumvent these features, and are stealing late model vehicles. An example of this trend is the use of scanner boxes that can exploit the electronic system in key fobs, creating a higher theft risk for luxury cars and new, high-end models. In addition, with the rise of the connected car, more valuable data is stored within vehicles than ever before. Auto theft and identity theft are becoming more and more intertwined, as car thieves look to target not only your vehicle, but also your personal information that may be in newer vehicles.
In line with this trend, we are spotlighting two recovery stories involving high-end vehicles and thieves who bypassed anti-theft devices.
LoJack System Assists Fulton County Police in Uncovering Local Chop Shop
By following the directional and audible cues from the LoJack Police Tracking Computer (PTC), troopers from the Atlanta, Georgia area using LoJack technology tracked a stolen 2004 International tow truck to a rural area of Fulton County. Upon discovering the car in question, police uncovered a large operating chop shop, finding thousands of dollars in late model stolen vehicles and stolen materials, including a 2012 BMW, 2010 Dodge Charger, two Nissan UD trucks, and two Hino heavy-duty trucks. Luckily, Georgia state police found these vehicles before they were “chopped” and put an end to the operation.
LoJack Helps Michigan Task Force Recover Stolen Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The owners of a 2004 Porsche 911 contacted the La Porte Police Department to report that their car was stolen from their residence, despite the anti-theft technology installed within the vehicle. Upon verifying the vehicle information, police activated the LoJack System concealed in the Porsche. The Southwest Commercial Auto Recovery (SCAR) Task Force located the stolen Porsche, parked in the rear of an occupied single family home. Because of the quick recovery, the stolen Porsche had no damage and the suspects couldn’t use it to commit additional crimes.
LoJack’s own recovery reports and the FBI Crime Report demonstrate that despite the best protection efforts, thieves are finding ways to hack security devices and steal higher valued luxury cars. Fortunately, as thieves’ tactics become more sophisticated, law enforcement is adapting so that they can continue to become more effective in tracking down stolen vehicles. All of the basic rules of vehicle theft prevention still apply, but as the sophistication of both vehicles and criminals grows, law enforcement, LoJack and consumers will have to keep pace with them.
For more information on LoJack’s recovery stories, be sure to visit our Auto Theft Blog each month, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.