CANTON, Mass., July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As vehicle theft continues to evolve and expand beyond traditional methods, LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN), a leader in vehicle theft recovery, today introduced 'The Connected Vehicle Thief' Era to open National Vehicle Theft Protection Month. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, 42 percent of Americans frequently or occasionally fear that their vehicle will be stolen or broken into. LoJack cautions that the nature of vehicle theft has changed and one of the vehicle owner's adversaries is a smarter, connected and more targeted network of thieves.
"The FBI reports in its 2013 Uniform Crime Report that a vehicle is stolen every 45.1 seconds in the United States, which amounts to more than $4.1 billion in lost assets each year," said Patrick Clancy, Vice President of Law Enforcement, LoJack Corporation. "With only 54.8 percent* of stolen vehicles being recovered, auto theft is still a serious problem and we are now dealing with a more advanced, sophisticated thief. These individuals are increasingly creative, connected and dangerous in their approaches to steal your valuable assets."
"In recent years, the traditional methods, techniques and mindset towards auto theft has evolved," Clancy continues. "Although numbers show a decline in theft, the impact that today's Connected Vehicle Thief has on the individuals and businesses that fall victim to them is much greater. We rely on our vehicles for much more than just transportation. Today, our vehicles hold critical information such as our phone contacts, registration and insurance details, even the address and directions to our home – making entry, theft and further damage even more of a possibility. Vehicles are truly an extension of our connected self and without it, we are less productive and informed and risk becoming exposed to the outside world."
With the emergence of new technology, LoJack cautions vehicle owners against 'The Connected Vehicle Thief.' These thieves have adapted techniques and methods to steal expensive, critical assets, such as cars, fleet vehicles and commercial equipment by adhering to key trends:
- Smart cars = Smarter thieves: Thieves have become more advanced in their techniques, which includes: illegally acquiring and copying smart keys, using GPS and manufactured keys to target rental vehicles, using stolen credit reports and creating false identities to finance vehicles at dealerships and VIN cloning.
- Go big, Go home, or Go overseas: Thieves have placed a great emphasis on expensive vehicles. Whether it be a brand new 2015 BMW X3 or a 1965 Ford Mustang, 'The Connected Vehicle Thief' is targeting cars that are valuable on the open market. Many of these thieves are taking and filling orders based on black market demands. Thieves know they can get the most value by targeting new, or rare, vehicles that are worth a substantial amount of money when they are exported and shipped overseas. Often times, new cars are stolen and placed in shipping containers or are part of an elaborate, large international crime operation.
- The Connected Vehicle Thief Can Cost You Money and Your Identity: In an increasingly connected-era, cars are more important than ever before. According to LoJack's latest recovery data, the average value of vehicles stolen and recovered is more than $10,000**. In addition, vehicle theft has a glaring impact on rising insurance rates – an added cost to the vehicle owner. There's also a troubling link between car theft and identity theft, as thieves not only take a person's vehicle, but their identity when documents containing personal information such as a vehicle registration or even bills are left in a vehicle.
- The Impact on Commercial and Fleet Businesses: The average value of vehicles stolen does not take into account the significant costs associated with theft, including loss in job productivity, critical data, transportation and overall professional impact. For example:
- A small business owner has a generator stolen from a job site and costs them time off a job and a substantial amount of money to replace the equipment.
- The construction business owner who has a piece of heavy equipment stolen, such as a front loader, can't complete a job on time.
- The fleet owner who has a dump truck stolen can't complete a job, or take on new work, without the vehicle.
"Auto theft is having a tremendous impact on our day-to-day lives and these smarter, more advanced thieves can be extremely dangerous," said Chris McDonald, former president of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators and executive director with the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council. "With advancements in technology, it is much more difficult for thieves to gain access to the vehicle without a smart key or key fob. As such, we are seeing an uptick in home burglaries and violent crimes in order to gain access to the vehicle. Although the numbers might say auto theft is declining, we need to be more vigilant than ever before in order to protect our assets, and more importantly ourselves, from this new breed of smart and dangerous criminals."
Educational resources available to vehicle owners this July and beyond include:
- 'LoDown With LoJack' – Auto Theft Trends video highlighting auto theft trends from around the country and the importance of vehicle security systems in combating today's sophisticated thief.
- Tips from IAATI and LoJack for consumers to help protect and keep their vehicle assets safe. By adhering to a multi-layered theft prevention approach – which includes common sense approaches, theft prevention and immobilization devices, and tracking/recovery systems – consumers can better protect their vehicles from theft.
- LoJack's Sixth Annual Vehicle Theft Recovery Report, infographic and slideshow reviewing auto theft trends over the past year specific to vehicles equipped with the LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System.
For more information from LoJack and tips for how to keep your valuable assets safe during National Vehicle Theft Protection Month, please visit www.lojack.com.
*Source: 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report
**Source: Used Car values are best estimates derived from: NADA Guide web services values and clean retail value from NADAGuides.com for the make, model and year of the vehicle in the month that it was recovered.
About LoJack Corporation
LoJack Corporation, the company that has helped more than nine million people protect their vehicles in the event of theft over the past 25+ years, today provides safety, security and protection for an ever-growing range of valuable assets and people. Leveraging its core strengths, including its well-known brand, direct integration with law enforcement and dealer distribution network, LoJack Corporation is expanding our business to include our traditional vehicle and equipment theft recovery, people at risk and new telematics based products and services. LoJack is delivering new telematics-based solutions for on-road and off-road fleet management, as well as, dealer inventory management. By expanding our brand beyond stolen vehicle recovery, LoJack Corporation is committed to creating a new level of value for its dealer, licensee, customer and investor communities by delivering innovative offerings and multiple technologies in expanding geographies.
SOURCE LoJack Corporation