LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System

LoJack

The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is an aftermarket vehicle tracking system that allows vehicles to be tracked by police after being stolen. The manufacturer claims a 90% recovery rate. The name "LoJack" was coined to be the "antithesis of hijack", meaning the theft of a vehicle through force.

Today, LoJack’s core business comprises the tracking and recovery of cars, trucks, construction equipment, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Additionally, LoJack is expanding into newer, emerging markets through licensing agreements and investments in areas such as cargo security. LoJack Corporation claims that over 200,000 vehicles have been recovered worldwide since the product was introduced more than two decades ago.

How it works

The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is a small, silent radio transceiver that is hidden in a vehicle by a certified LoJack technician. Once installed, the unit is automatically registered in the LoJack Database, which interfaces with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the US. In the event of a theft, a customer reports the incident to the police, who make a routine entry into the state police crime computer, resulting in a match of the LoJack System's unique code against the state VIN database. This process automatically triggers the activation of the LoJack unit in the vehicle.

If a LoJack unit is activated, every police car within a 2-3 mile radius and equipped with a tracking unit will automatically be alerted that the vehicle is near.

The company’s systems are operable in 26 US states and in the District of Columbia, and more than 30 countries. LoJack operates in areas of the country with the greatest population and density, highest number of new vehicle sales, and highest incidence of vehicle theft.

The technology uses radio frequency (RF) as opposed to GPS. This allows police to recover vehicles when they are hidden in garages and other dense areas. It also can be upgraded to alert the owner of a vehicle if the car is moved or started, via LoJack Early Warning.

LoJack installs special police tracking computers (PTCs) in law enforcement vehicles, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The PTCs coverage capability ranges from 12-20 square miles (ground) to 75-120 miles (aircraft). The company's software and databases are directly integrated into each state's crime computers, providing a connection to law enforcement.

LoJack transmits on a radio frequency of 173.075 MHz. Vehicles with the system installed send a 200 ms chirp every ten seconds on this frequency. When being tracked after reported stolen, the devices send out a 200 ms signal once a second. The radio frequency transmitted by LoJack is near the VHF spectrum band used by television channel 7 in North America, although there is minimal interference due to the low power of radiation, brief chirp duration, and long interval between chirps.

The suggested retail price for the flagship system is $695, but it has no monthly fee.

Products

LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System
A small, silent transmitter hidden in a vehicle allows the police to track and recover it. The unit is covertly hidden within the vehicle.LoJack Early Warning
An optional component of the LoJack System, Early Warning alerts the owner by phone, e-mail or text message if the protected vehicle has been moved without authorization. A personal key fob sends a signal to the system to disable the warning as long as the owner is carrying it. LoJack offers the Early Warning product for cars, trucks and motorcycles.
LoJack For Motorcycles
Police can track and recover a stolen motorcycle.LoJack For Construction
Tracking units can be covertly placed in construction equipment.LoJack For Fleet and Trucking
Protection for tractor trailers, semis, rigs, haulers, and vans.LoJack for Laptops
A software product that enables law enforcement to recover stolen laptops by tracing them across the Internet.LoJack InTransit
Cargo tracking devices and service.

Drawbacks

LoJack is not available from a retail store. It must be purchased either through a dealership or directly from the manufacturer. Because the transmitter is meant to covertly notify the police, the owner cannot track the vehicle themselves. The LoJack Early Warning Recovery System is sold as an optional component of the LoJack System.

Also, not all police departments are equipped with LoJack receivers. If a vehicle with LoJack is driven to a location where the police do not have LoJack receivers, the system is effectively useless until it moves into a LoJack-participating county.

LoJack coverage in the Unites States is limited to 26 states and the District of Columbia.

The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is not transferable from one vehicle to another as the serial number on the LoJack Unit is registered to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a customer's vehicle. If a customer buys a pre-owned vehicle and it's suspected that the car, motorcycle or truck already has a LoJack Recovery System, it is recommended that they confirm the system has been installed by calling LoJack and scheduling an inspection.

Company

The manufacturing company is also called LoJack . On the second half of 2008 it may see its share price reduced due to a slowdown on car sales.

See also

References

See Techworld.com news: LoJack foils laptop theft
http://techworld.com/security/news/index.cfm?newsID=11882&pagtype=all

Further reading

External links

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