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LoJack What happens when your car is stolen

Updated on September 15, 2008
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LoJack Antenna on top of of police cruiser
LoJack Antenna on top of of police cruiser
LoJack Antenna on top of of police cruiser

Ever wonder how exactly LoJack works? Or what happens when something enabled with LoJack is stolen? Unfortunately these are a few questions I had to learn about the hard way.

LoJack Is a theft recovery product and service. LoJack manufactures a silent tracking device that is hidden inside a given product. Usually LoJack is installed into vehicles, such as Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Recreational Vehicles as well. LoJack is now also available for other valuables, such as lap tops or professional equipment. After you have it installed, the dealer goes over the product with you, and gives you a little portfolio with information like account number and serial codes and what not. After all of that, you have to call LoJack and have the new tracking device registered.

When your property is stolen, the police activate the hidden transponder located with in your LoJack equipped property. The police are equipped with special receivers inside of their vehicles which allow them to track the stolen property via a radio signal.

Another component of the LoJack is the "early warning" Early Warning is a device that works in conjunction with your LoJack transponder. It hooks to your key chain, and it almost serves as a key pass. What happens, if your LoJack equipped product is moved, and the early warning key pass is not with close range of the LoJack, it will send a signal to alert you that some one or something has moved it with out the early warning Key pass. In effect what this does is lets you know when your vehicle is being tampered with. The early warning works by setting up a series of alerts. You set up your account so that you will be noticed by phone, or text , or even email.

What I found out after my motorcycle was stolen.

I purchased a brand new 2007 Honda CBR 600, and living in San Diego I figured I better get LoJack for the motorcycle considering that there is so much auto theft in the area. So I paid a lot of money to have the dealer install the LoJack, it was almost $1,100. Now for that kind of money you want to feel confident that you are getting something high quality.

A short while after I had my bike, it was about 10:30 pm and I was just falling asleep when my phone rang. I picked it up, which I notoriously never do, there was an automated voice on the other end informing me that my early warning had been triggered. So I bolted out of bed and ran out side. I was thinking, "I am going to get these guys, they won't even know what hit them". But when I went out there, no one was there and my bike was gone. I looked down the long road to see if I could see any thing driving away, and nothing. I knew if they had actually started the bike I would be able to hear it, due to the loud exhaust I put on it, but nothing. It was almost like they had been gone for a while. I called the police, and waited. In the mean time I knocked on my neighbors door to see if he managed to see anything. "Yeah I saw you and your buddy put the bike into a van, man it looked heavy". I said, "Well that wasn't me, or my buddy, some one stole my bike." I could see the look on his face, that he felt stupid, but it's not his fault, I wouldn't stayed away from that too. Cause had I really been lifting my bike and I saw him, I would of put him to work. I asked him how long ago it happened that he saw that, and doing the math I gathered that there was almost 13 minutes between when they took the bike and when I got the phone call.

I was rather upset that there was so much time between when the bike was stolen and when I got the call. Seeing as how auto theft is a time sensitive matter. Especially in San Diego where the international border is less than half an hour away, I had hoped that the early warning would have been a little "earlier"

So I thought to my self, here in San Diego most auto thefts are tied to Tijuana. About 80% of the cars and motorcycles stolen end up across the border, where the likely hood of recovery is so slim, you may as well wake up the next day and take the day off from work so you can go out and start car shopping. I thought to myself, once they leave my driveway they can be in Mexico in 25 minutes. Here is the time line of how the event occurred.

13 minutes for the Early Warning to alert me

4 minute phone call to the police

30 minutes for police to respond

30 minutes to fill out report

And only after all of that can the police activate the transponder to start tracking the stolen bike. So in my case, from the time the bike was taken, to when I LoJack was activated the bike had been in Mexico for almost an hour. Let me tell you, in a situation like this, that's real bad! So the real question is for the millions of people who live in the greater San Diego area, why would you get LoJack? Further more, LoJack charges more, for living in certain areas of San Diego. Those being the areas with an even grossly higher rate of auto theft. Nice to know you are going to get charged more and there is less likely chance to get it back.

So they never found it, what now?

So part of the policy is that if the stolen property is not recovered in 30 days you are entitled to some for of reimbursement. For a motorcycle policy, that's $5000. Funny thing is, that LoJack will never call you and inform you, that you are eligible for the reimbursement, you have to make sure you get the ball rolling and fill out all the forms.

What you will need is a copy of the police report and the proof of purchase from where you bought the LoJack. After you acquire those two things, you need to call LoJack's claims department, and file a claim before you send the paper work in. From then on, it gets underwritten and takes about 3-4 months to get a check.

How do I feel about LoJack now?

If I knew what I know now, I would not have invested the money in the LoJack system.I think you just need to make sure that theft is covered under your insurance policy, it's the only real way to have any sort of peace of mind and the one sure way to cover your self financially. I personaly living in the San Diego area think it's more or less useless. For the every one else who lives in the 26 States in which LoJack is offered, it may be a good an option. But again, if your insurance policy is solid then you should have nothing to


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