Police and automakers can eliminate car theft


Having your car stolen is no fun at all. I remember one time I parked illegally and was towed, but I thought my car had been stolen. Well, I was relieved to find I had to go to an impound lot and pay a fee!

Car thefts have collapsed in some jurisdictions where police have put an effort into working with auto manufacturers to use sophisticated technology that’s already embedded in new cars. With the technology, they can do so much to figure out where the car is and to prevent the car from continuing to run.

I remember years ago in my TV work when LoJack was a baby. I went around with the state police and when a car was reported stolen, we would go look for it. All but one time, we found the car in 30 minutes or less.

It got to the point where criminals didn’t know which cars had LoJack and which didn’t, so they would park a stolen car in a public lot and wait to see if the cops came before taking it off to a chop shop.

Now technology has moved beyond that. Several manufacturers can track the exact location and work with police to recover the cars. The problem is not all police departments are interested in having dedicated initiatives to work with the automakers in this respect. But where they have been, auto theft has dropped precipitously.

The Washington Post reports auto theft is down by 50% in Maryland because police are working with auto manufacturers that have these systems in their cars. People get their cars back and the crooks go to jail for serious prison terms, which often breaks up auto theft rings. After seeing what Maryland did, Virginia got on board and auto thefts have dropped 40% there too.

We can take this on as a crime and eliminate it.

I hope more and more police departments will look at doing this. Once police departments turn their attention to using the technology embedded in a car to get cars back and get crooks off the streets, wow, we’ll really change things.

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