Published July 19, 2005
Volume 13, Number 7

Retrieving Stolen Vehicles is LoJack's Business


By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

Anyone who has misplaced their car in a parking lot has probably experienced that sinking feeling that it may have been stolen. When that nightmare becomes a reality, the odds are that the thieves are long gone and the automobile will be very difficult to track down. Helping law enforcement with the task of locating and retrieving stolen cars, trucks, and other vehicles is all in a day’s work for LoJack Corporation at 4637 Chabot Drive. The company’s high-tech retrieval systems have been helping police find these stolen assets for nearly two decades.

“LoJack is the global leader in stolen vehicle recovery,” says Paul McMahon, director of corporate communications for LoJack. “We’ve been selling our products to consumers since 1986. Since that time, we have also broadened the scope of our products to include protection for light trucks, construction equipment, and motorcycles.”

LoJack’s systems are based on radio frequency technology that is effective even if a vehicle is hidden in a garage or other difficult to find location. The system consists of a transceiver that is hidden somewhere on the vehicle and a receiver that is used by law enforcement. Each system has a unique code that is associated with the vehicle’s identification number. When a vehicle is reported stolen, the police activate the device on the stolen vehicle and are able to track it based on the signal it sends out. More than 90 percent of stolen vehicles that are equipped with the LoJack system are recovered. The company is so confident in its effectiveness that it offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee that a stolen LoJack-equipped vehicle will be found.

“Radio frequency technology has been around since World War II,” McMahon says. “It’s a very appropriate technology for stolen vehicle recovery because there are no visible antennas or equipment. If a thief steals a vehicle, they don’t know whether it has one of our units installed.” In addition to its flagship product, LoJack also offers what it calls the “LoJack Early Warning Recovery System,” which lets you know if your vehicle is being moved without your permission. This system draws you attention to the situation by phone, e-mail, or pager.

LoJack initiated activities in the late 1970’s and spent a substantial period of time working with law enforcement to develop the technology within police policy and procedure. A number of years were spent refining the product before it was made available to the public to determine how the police dealt with vehicle theft and to make sure that it meshed with the computer systems used by law enforcement agencies.

LoJack’s Hacienda office has been open since December of 2004. Overall , the company has in the area of 600 employees, with around eight working in its sales and service office in Pleasanton. Installation of the LoJack system is done either by the company’s fleet of technicians or by certified dealers. Over four million LoJack units have been installed worldwide, and in excess of 150,000 vehicles have been recovered since the product was introduced, with over 75,000 of those recoveries occurring in the U.S.


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