Monday, October 31, 2011

Anti-Theft Technology

While much has been done over the years to fight back against auto theft, it still remains a concern in many areas throughout America. While this crime has actually declined over the last few years, the biggest problem is the amount of money lost by victims. To illustrate, the FBI reports that auto thefts cost victims approximately $6.4 billion in 2008.
Urban areas in particular tend to have a higher rate of theft. Thieves have a wider selection of cars to choose from in these parts, and can blend in more as opposed to being out in rural areas. However, car owners today have more anti-theft technology available to them than ever before. Not only is this technology better equipped to prevent thefts, but recovery their vehicles should they get victimized.
The latest in anti-theft technology is the use of GPS that will monitor and track your vehicle should it be stolen. This makes it much easier for the authorities to locate and recover stolen vehicles. And in the event that the thief cuts the battery cable, information can still be gathered from the system.
OnStar by GM has made some advances in the recovery process. They now have a vehicle slowdown service that utilizes GPS. With it, not only can they locate a stolen vehicle, but stop it in its tracks. It starts with the owner reporting the theft to the police. Then the police contact OnStar to find the location of the car.
When they are closing in on the stolen car, OnStar can debilitate the accelerator to eventually stop it. Also, should the car be turned off, OnStar can prevent it from starting again by blocking the ignition.
LoJack has a system that reportedly has a 90% success rate for stolen vehicle recovery. They install radio transceivers into the vehicle as well as motion detectors. Should the car be moved while activated, an alert will be sent to the owner via text, email, or phone. Because the owner is notified immediately, it can save a lot of time. The police will then be contacted quicker and begin searching as soon as possible. Law enforcement in over half the states have LoJack tracking computers in their vehicles.
While this whole operation more often than not will probably be successful, professional thieves are beginning to catch on. They are figuring out how to disable these systems so they can't track the location. Some will even try to hide a vehicle in an underground garage, where GPS won't be able to track it.
However, this latest technology still is recommended as many believe it's one of the reasons why car thefts have dropped recently.

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