WESTWOOD, MA (July 12, 2011) — LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN) celebrates its 25th anniversary this July. Since the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System was first introduced in 1986, more than 300,000 stolen cars, SUVs, light trucks, motorcycles, heavy equipment and construction equipment worth nearly $4 billion have been recovered globally. Plus, at a time when the national recovery rate for stolen vehicles is at a 25-year low—nearly 57%—the recovery rate for stolen LoJack-equipped assets, after being reported stolen, remains at 90%.
This milestone underscores the staying power of the LoJack System, which has withstood the test of time as the most effective stolen vehicle recovery solution available—despite the dramatic changes in both technology and vehicle theft over the past quarter century.
LoJack claims its brand name enjoys nearly 90% name recognition, and says the brand has become synonymous with "all things recovery."
LoJack was originally developed for police by police. Former Medfield, Mass., Police Commissioner and Selectman Bill Reagan, who founded LoJack (the antithesis of "hi-jack"), developed the system as a way to help keep police officers safe as well as to protect vehicles from theft. The idea came about because police were often seriously injured or killed at routine traffic stops or during high-speed chases when pursuing stolen vehicles. In testing, Reagan's prototype solution proved to be successful 100% of the time and was called "the promise of the future" by then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
Bill Reagan insured LoJack's success first and foremost by choosing to use Radio Frequency (RF) technology—which to this day remains highly covert and highly effective for stolen vehicle recovery. Since day one, RF has enabled a vehicle to be tracked even if it is hidden in downtown urban areas, dense foliage, concrete structures like underground garages or steel containers.
Reagan created another critical differentiator for the LoJack System by working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety to integrate the LoJack System into the processes and procedures of existing law enforcement systems. Because of Reagan's work, LoJack, along with the Massachusetts State Police, was granted authority as a designee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to use an FCC frequency for the purpose of tracking stolen vehicles.
According to Lou Koven, former Los Angeles Police Department officer and member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), "We didn't take LoJack seriously at first. How could a system do what LoJack claimed? But it earned our respect, because it worked time and time again." He added, "It's amazing how auto theft changed as LoJack gained acceptance."
Back in 1986, auto theft was mainly a theft of opportunity perpetrated by teenagers out for a joy ride. All it required was a screwdriver and 30 seconds to expose ignition wires and start a car. It was easy. More hardened criminals used the same tools to steal a car, often to commit other serious crimes. For them, theft was easy and it was difficult to get caught. However, as LoJack gained acceptance, it changed how thieves operated. By the early 1990s, stolen vehicles had to "cool off" for 24 to 36 hours—stay in a parking space to make certain it was not being tracked by police using their LoJack Police Tracking Computers.