New Year’s Day is the holiday with the highest theft rate, which means there’s no better time for LoJack Corporation to release its top stolen vehicle and equipment recoveries of 2013. From recovering stolen vehicles concealed in shipping containers bound for overseas exportation, to the closing of local “chop shops” and apprehending seasoned criminals involved in international crime rings, these stories demonstrate the proven ability and success of the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System within law enforcement agencies across the globe.
And now, the highly-anticipated list of “LoJack’s Best Recovery Stories from 2013”:
- LoJack Aids Canadian & U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies in Recovering $3.2 Million in Assets. The international crime ring investigation “Project Windows” was a collaboration between Canadian Law Enforcement, United States Homeland Security and Canadian Border Services, each playing an important role in tracking the group of highly-skilled criminals responsible for stealing luxury vehicles. These sophisticated criminals stole from high-end vehicle dealerships in Canada using falsified documents and fraudulent identities. Once acquired, the thieves would transport the vehicles across the border to United States ports in Newark, N.J. and Baltimore, MD. The vehicles were then placed in cargo containers and shipped overseas to Nigeria and Ghana. The York Regional Police (Toronto, Canada) began the investigation and enlisted the help of LoJack to provide several covert vehicle tracking devices that were placed inside a number of the high-end vehicles. The LoJack devices helped investigators gather intelligence on the suspects and their accomplices, follow the trails of stolen vehicles, establish or confirm their plans, and gather evidence against the members of the organization. In total, investigators were able to recover 89 stolen vehicles worth $3.2 million and arrest 16 suspects with more than 236 charges pending.
- Audi S8 Fraudulently Purchased from Car Dealership, Recovered. A Sacramento dealership was victimized by a suspect who gave an $18,000 bad check and fraudulent information on his credit application to purchase a 2013 Audi S8 worth approximately $120,000. After attempting to identify and locate the suspect, the dealership filed a theft report of the Audi by fraudulent means. One hour after the stolen vehicle’s information was entered into state and national crime information computers by the police, officers with the East Bay Parks Police Air 1 helicopter began receiving signals from the Audi’s LoJack System. They radioed the coordinates to ground units and a California Highway Patrol K-9 unit conducted a felony traffic stop and took the driver into custody. The driver was the named suspect of the theft report and had numerous aliases, a lengthy record of fraud and theft, and was an ex-parolee.
- Palermo, Italy: LoJack System for Motorcycles Recovery Leads to Chop Shop Bust. Provincial Police of Palermo were notified that a Honda SH scooter worth €60.000 was stolen from the Piazzale Carmelo Lazarus. By tracking the scooter’s LoJack System homing signals, two patrol cars tracked the scooter to a van parked right in the Piazza Carmelo Lazarus. The patrolmen removed the steel padlock on the rear hatch and found the reported scooter, as well as 12 other Honda motorcycles with various engine sizes. Of these vehicles, two were intact, while the other 11 were in parts. The patrolmen did a quick search and learned each scooter was reported stolen sometime during January 2013 from various locations in the city of Palermo.
- Texas Police Hit the Stolen Vehicle Recovery Jackpot Thanks to LoJack System. When a Fort Worth, TX resident noticed her Toyota Camry was missing from her apartment complex parking lot, she immediately contacted local law enforcement to activate her LoJack System and find her car. In this case, police hit the jackpot by not only recovering the Camry, but five other stolen vehicles in a tow station’s storage yard.
- LoJack System Makes a ‘Classic” Recovery. The owner of a 1963 Cadillac Convertible was victimized by thieves, who stole his classic ride from the parking area in Los Angeles, where it was stored. Minutes after being reported stolen, deputies began receiving signals from their LoJack Police Tracking Computers and located the $35,000 car in a residential area, parked and unoccupied.
- LoJack System Helps Fairhaven, Mass. Police Track Down Mother/Daughter Crime Team. In August 2013, Rhonda and Devy Stone started their day by stealing a Lexus, that had been involved in a car accident, from an Ocean State Job Lot parking lot in Fairhaven. Little did they know, the Lexus was equipped with a LoJack System and within an hour, police were able to track down the vehicle and arrest the duo who were also carrying hypodermic needles, heroin and $250 worth of stolen jewelry.
- Two Busts Involving LoJack System Lead Police to Recovery of Stolen Assets & Large Volumes of Marijuana
- In March, deputy constables in the Harris County Precinct 4 were alerted of a stolen pickup equipped with the LoJack System. They tracked the signal to a home in northwest Harris County and identified not only the stolen pickup, but 21 suspected illegal immigrants inside. A search warrant also revealed an elaborate marijuana growing operation. Approximately $500,000 worth of marijuana was being grown.
- In June, police officers in Southern California were alerted of a stolen Bobcat Skid Steer worth $30,000 stolen from a construction site. Within the hour, police were able to track the LoJack signal planted on the equipment to a junk salvage yard. Once on-site, the deputies began a sweep of the yard and inside a bunker they also found a loaded .44 caliber hand gun, several shot guns, methamphetamine and a total of 49 large bundles of marijuana. All evidence was seized under a search warrant and a suspect was booked on four felony charges including ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana for resale and receiving stolen property.
For information on LoJack’s involvement with additional theft recoveries, visit the autotheftblog.com.