CANTON, Mass. — LoJack Corp. today released its Top 10 auto theft recovery stories from 2012, which range from recovering stolen vehicles concealed in shipping containers to apprehending criminals who terrorized an elderly man. The company also reported that it helped recover more than $100 million stolen assets this year.
#10 Persistence Pays, Crime Doesn’t: A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon equipped with a LoJack System was stolen from the U.S. Army Post at Fort Bragg. Officers picked up the silent signal and began tracking the vehicle, but the thieves went off road into sand dune terrain. The police couldn’t pursue. However, the following morning, law enforcement picked up the signal again and tracked it to a residence where they recovered a stash of stolen property, including a truck, motorcycle, three ATVs and a generator.
#9 To Catch a Professional Thief: A routine recovery of a stolen vehicle equipped with LoJack helped police uncover a major chop house. Authorities recovered 24 stolen vehicles including some stolen from Texas, New Jersey and North Carolina, as well as stolen parts from at least 50 other vehicles. A suspect, who was wanted on four counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, four counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and four counts of injury to property, was taken into custody.
#8 Paws Off My Truck: A Toyota Tundra equipped with a LoJack System was stolen and the silent LoJack signal was received by a canine officer, who alerted other police officers to join the pursuit of the thief. The thief pulled into a parking lot and by the time the officers reached the vehicle, it was empty. While some officers searched the area, the police canine caught the scent and found the thief hiding under the stolen Tundra. (View video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy7U7cBXtI0.)
#7 Speedy Recovery: Imagine coming home from grocery shopping, leaving your car open while you take bags into the house, then coming back out to find your car gone. That’s what happened to the owner of a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Fortunately, the Cruiser was equipped with a LoJack System. And eight minutes after the system was activated, deputies recovered the FJ Cruiser and apprehended a juvenile female driver.
#6 Secret Identity: When police used their LoJack police tracking computers to track down a stolen Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck in Houston, they discovered that a phony vehicle identification number (VIN) had been attached to its dash to disguise the truck’s identity. Officers inspected the original VIN and determined that it was from the stolen vehicle.
#5 What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Just ask the thieves who stole a 2012 Ford F150 pickup truck right off the lot of a Houston dealership, which had just had the LoJack System installed minutes earlier. Thanks to the system, local police recovered the vehicle in less than an hour and arrested the unsuspecting bad guys.
#4 When Three is Not a Crowd: Thieves stole a Carson Race Trailer and hitched it to a stolen Chevy Silverado. Inside the trailer was a stolen 1956 Bel Air Custom Convertible. The Los Angeles Police Department tracked the signal from the Chevy and recovered all three stolen vehicles. Total value of the recovery was more than $120,000.
#3 The Dirty Dozen: Seven stolen Cadillac Escalades, three stolen Chevrolet pickups, one stolen Chevrolet Suburban and a stolen Dodge pickup were all recovered thanks to the LoJack System that was installed in a GMC Yukon. The Yukon was stolen from Fort Worth, Texas, and tracked down by police to a warehouse where the other vehicles were stored. The only vehicle not stripped was the Yukon. Total value of these recoveries: $182,000.
#2 Getting the Bad Guys: Four brazen con men posing as utility workers gained access to the home of an elderly handicapped man in Daly City, Calif. They terrorized the victim, stole his cash and valuables, and forced him to give up his ATM PIN and the keys to his car. Unbeknownst to the thieves, the vehicle was equipped with a LoJack System. Police tracked the man’s stolen Honda and apprehended four suspects who were arrested on several felony charges.
#1 Not Asleep on the Job: When the owner of a 2010 Toyota RAV-4 reported his vehicle stolen to Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland, the LoJack police tracking computers led authorities on a trail that ended with the bust of an international theft ring. Police dragged dozens of mattresses out of a shipping container to find the Rav4 hidden along with several other vehicles that were bound for exportation overseas.