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I'm considering having a LoJack vehicle recovery system installed. I already have a security system, but the LoJack advertises that their system will allow the vehicle to be located (within their coverage areas) and recovered should it ever be stolen.
Has anyone had any experience with this type of a system? Any comments about this or any other system of this type?
There are numerous theft recovery systems out there.
LoJack is the most basic. It is primarily a homing device. When you vehicle is stolen, it sends out a signal. The police will not look for it until you report it stolen. Then, they send out their cruisers with the locater installed in their vehicles to track your truck. The police drive around until they pick up a signal and then try to pinpoint it (kind of like using a metal detector at the beach). There is no monthly fee.
Teletrac is another system. The monthly fee ranges from about 5 dollars to 20 I think. When the vehicle is stolen, the unit sends a signal to the control center and they notify the police. The center then works in conjunction with the police to locate your vehicle. The recovery time should be faster because the center knows where your vehicle is at all times. Also, as an option, you can purchase tracking software so that you can track your vehicle at home (good if you have others driving your truck often or for fleets). The $5/mo. does not include automatic notification.
On Guard (similar to GM's OnStar) is the most hi-tech system. It utilizes cellular technology along with GPS to locate your vehicle. It works similar to Teletrac with added benefits. The police, at a safe moment, could tell the control center to TURN OFF your vehicle, lock the doors, sound the horn, etc. so as to trap the theif inside. If you happen to get locked out of your vehicle, simply call the center and they will unlock it for you (for a fee, I think.) If you have roadside trouble (t-case blew, stuck in mud by yourself, etc.) simply push a button and you can speak directly to the control center for roadside assistance. Another scenario: You are in a bad area and suddenly see a few thugs walking towards you. You can hit a hidden switch and the control center will connect to you and stay silent. They will listen in to hear if your safety is being threatened. If it is, they will send police to you immediately.
These three systems range greatly in price so it depends how much safety you need and could afford. Lastly, I've heard that the first two are useless if someone steals your vehicle and parks it in an underground parking structure. The signals will not reach outside. I do not know if it is the same for the On Guard system since it is a new system.
LoJack makes a fine second system, but I would only add it if I already had a good security system. For one thing, it is only in 18 states, and does not cover the entire area within those states. Some police forces, and Sheriff's Offices, have gone with the system in a big way, and every car has a Doppler Direction Finding system in it. Some have even equipped helicopters with it, which GREATLY improves the chances the car will be found.
Other departments have only installed the Doppler DF in a few cars. My county initially put it in two cars. One mile away from my home, on the other side of the Potomac River, Maryland had done nothing, though now that LoJack has a contract with Maryland, they may be installing DF systems in their cars.
Finally, though I am more knowledgeable about LoJack than most car thieves, I could easily defeat it. First, I know the frequency, so I could put a receiver on the frequency and discover if the vehicle I took has LoJack the second it came on. [This frequency is not general knowledge, so those of you that know it, do keep it to yourself.]
If I became aware the car had it, I could either abandon the car (good for the owner), drive the car into a lake or pond (bad for the owner, but stops the LoJack transceiver) or find the LoJack transceiver and tie it to the bottom of a police car or school bus.
You really want a security system first, then LoJack. It is MUCH better to prevent your Hummer from being stolen, than have it recovered, possibly after a high speed chase that WILL include the punk driving your Hummer off road, over curbs and through ditches.
Finally, as a privacy issue, LoJack has been used to find at least one person, not her car. The police wanted to question a woman, and could not find her. They found she had LoJack, had it activated and found her.
Will any of us ever want to evade capture by someone? I doubt it. If we were "on the run" would we choose such a high profile vehicle as our Hummers? I doubt it, but you never know.
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