The owner of a Mercedes Benz S500 contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to report that their vehicle was taken by a known family member and the vehicle had not been returned. As a policy of the Mecklenburg County criminal justice system, a person must charge the person in a warrant before the vehicle can be entered as a stolen. The warrant charging the person was obtained and evidence of the warrant was submitted to the police department.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department verified the theft, the warrant being issued, and then entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers which automatically activated the LoJack® System concealed in the Mercedes Benz. As a used car purchaser in August of this year, the owner/victim did not know the vehicle had previously been equipped with the LoJack® System.
A short while later officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department picked up the silent LoJack® homing signals from the stolen Mercedes with the LoJack® Police Tracking Computers (PTC) that are installed in patrol vehicles and aircraft. The Mercedes was mobile and the aviation unit was called in to provide air support to follow the vehicle without an ensuing chase. Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC and the aviation “eyes on”, the vehicle and two occupants were located in a parking lot of an apartment complex off I-85 and 28th Street. Neither of the two occupants were the suspect but officers conducted searches of the persons and vehicle. As a result of the search, officers found a marijuana blunt in the vehicle ash tray, a quantity of marijuana and a grinding device, and a Glock 26 – 9mm pistol which was determined to have been stolen from Matthews, NC. The driver of the Mercedes alleged the vehicle had been traded for crack and gave a statement the marijuana was his, not the passenger but refused to give information about the stolen pistol. The passenger was released without charges. The driver was transported to the Law Enforcement Center to be interviewed by detectives and await criminal charges. The Mercedes was towed and stored for safe keeping until the owner/victim could take custody.
The LoJack® System was installed in the Mercedes Benz S500 in May 2001.