The owners of a 2013 Kia Forte contacted the Downey Police Department to report their vehicle had been stolen. Downey PD verified the theft and entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers which automatically activated the LoJack® System concealed in the Kia.
A short while later LASD Airship 7 picked up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen Kia with the LoJack Police Tracking Computers (PTC) that are installed in patrol vehicles and aircraft. Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC, Air 7 tracked the Kia to the city of Paramount and requested patrol deputies assigned to Paramount to respond. As the patrol deputies were arriving in the area, the driver pulled to the curb and stopped. Patrol deputies got behind the Kia and saw the driver door was partially open. The deputies ordered the driver to stay in the Kia but he exited the vehicle. Deputies ordered the driver to the ground but he refused by fleeing. The driver scaled a wall and entered the backyard of a residence. Air 7 was still overhead and observed the subject enter a metal storage shed in the backyard of the wall he scaled. The deputies were contacted by the resident of the location and she advised them a subject entered her rear yard and was hiding in her metal storage shed. The deputies entered the rear yard of the residence and were able to safely detain the subject hiding in the shed.
The deputies returned to the stolen Kia and found a pellet gun, which was a replica of a handgun and not marked as a replica, a bandana and a gas mask.
The deputies questioned the driver and he admitted to taking the Kia earlier in the day while in the city of Downey. The driver/suspect said he drove the Kia to the present location to visit his girlfriend. The deputies re-contacted the resident of the location the suspect was found and confirmed she was his girlfriend. She was not sure why he was there and stated he had just been released from jail a few days earlier on auto theft charges. The suspect was arrested for auto theft and during the booking process he identified himself using his brother’s information. The suspect will be additionally charged with impersonating another. The suspect had a criminal history, which including burglary and multiple car theft arrests.
The LoJack® System was installed in the Kia Forte in August 2012 at Kia of Cerritos, Cerritos CA.