LoJack Helps OCATT Break Large Theft Ring — 4 Arrested, Recovery Valued at $250,000

  • March 17, 2013
  • recovery stories

On January 18, 2013, the owners of a car lot contacted the Brea Police Department to report that a 2004 BMW Z-3 vehicle had been stolen, along with 12 other exotic cars, from their dealership’s lot. Apparently organized thieves broke into the car lot office, located the keys, and helped themselves to the 13 vehicles.

Brea Police verified the theft and entered the BMW’s information — along with that of the12 other vehicles — into the state and federal crime computers, which automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the BMW.  OCATT detectives were notified and assumed the investigation.

Shortly after the activation of the BMW-Z-3, it was noted that this vehicle was the only one of the stolen vehicles that was equipped with a LoJack system.  A short while later, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Air-7 flight deputies picked up the silent LoJack signal, tracked and located the vehicle parked and unoccupied at a motel near Imperial and Paramont Boulevards. OCATT Detectives and ground units were notified.  However, before any assisting ground units could arrive, a man and a woman entered the vehicle and drove away.

Apparently, when the male driver saw the helicopter overhead, he fled at a high speed in an attempt to out run the airship.  Air-7 followed the vehicle, alerting ground units to the direction of travel. The BMW apparently blew out a tire, exited the freeway and entered a mall parking lot in the city of Pico Rivera.  There, both suspects fled from the vehicle. The female ran to a shoe store and was apprehended.  The male “car jacked” a van from an elderly couple and fled.  The van was soon located; however, the suspect eluded ground units and escaped undetected.  According to the lead Detective, LoJack led to the arrest of the female and the obtaining of the identity of the male suspect, along with opening leads which eventually solved the case.”

Due to extensive work by OCATT Detectives, the lead detective indicated that thus far, four suspects have been arrested and charged, and all 13 vehicles have been recovered.  They have been identified as a 2007 Maserati, 2009 Mustang, 2008 Mustang, 2008 Mercedes E350, 2005 Audi A-4, 2004 BMW M-3 (LoJack equipped), 2006 Bentley, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2002 BMW 745, 2002 Mercedes 600, 2005 Mercedes SLK350, 2011 Hyundai Genesis and a 2008 BMW 28I. Estimated total value of the recovered cars is $250,000.

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in the BMW Z-3 at BMW Gallery in Norwood, Massachusetts on October 3, 2005.