Key Existing Weaknesses:
navigation/communication option include GPS but theft recovery is
NOT among the touted features like easy navigation, voice
communication, fluids and tire pressure, entertainment, and reminders
that periodic maintenance checkups are due.
Reports indicate that
one manufacturer's procedural steps take several hours before GPS
tracking can begin and another manufacturer has taken days before
When the owner of a
vehicle with a manufacturer installed GPS reports a vehicle theft:
a) LE inquires if the vehicle is GPS equipped then confirms
"navigation" is active;
b) If both answers are YES, LE instructs the owner to contact the
vehicle manufacturer, satisfy the manufacturer's call desk about the
caller's identity, verify their GPS is functional, and owner gives
their permission to work with LE to recover vehicle;
c) vehicle owner then gets contact instructions from the
manufacturer to pass on the LE; d) vehicle owner re-contacts LE and
provides instructions for contacting manufacturer so GPS tracking
can begin on the vehicle.
Thieves are long GONE
The 15+ aftermarket
add-on GPS systems do not have streamlined processes and/or the
staffing for rapid police support. Many of these units just plug into an under
Many vehicles built in
the last 10-15 years reportedly include GPS but it is not
functional because owners will not pay the $150-$300 annual fee or
used car owners aren't aware.
Other market offerings, like LoJack, et al.,
cost $700-$900 and
only broadcast their RF signal about 3-5 miles. This requires special RF
equipment typically found in only a few police cars, if at all, and
hand held countermeasures can readily jam LoJack's signal.
in border areas and cities steal vehicles as a
business, even taking orders for specific vehicles. They are
gotten free, chop-shopped by illegal aliens for high demand parts and
systems then parts resold for more than
the cost of the new vehicle.
Some vehicle owners
worry that LE will "spy on them" if GPS tracking exists but such
capability already resides with the manufacturers via the navigation