The Thornton Road Chrysler, Dodge Jeep, Ram dealership in Lithia Springs, Ga., sold a 2016 Ram 3500 pick-up truck in what appeared to be a routine transaction. However, several months after the sale of the truck, with no payments being made, the dealership and the finance company launched an investigation that revealed that this was not just going to be a simple default on the loan with a repossession to reclaim the asset. The investigation showed that there was also a second victim whose identity had been stolen and used to purchase the truck. After determining that the truck had been purchased through identity theft, the car dealership reported the findings to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the case was referred to an investigator who launched his own investigation.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigator determined that the suspects used the identity of someone in South Carolina to purchase the vehicle and also registered the vehicle in South Carolina. The Investigator verified the theft and entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers which automatically activated the LoJack® System concealed in the Ram.
After the vehicle was entered into the National Crime Computer Database, a Deputy from the Union County Sheriff’s Office and an Inspector with North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau picked up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen Ram Truck with the LoJack Police Tracking Computers (PTC) that are installed in patrol vehicles and aircraft. Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC, the Officers tracked the vehicle and located it parked in a shopping center parking lot with a trailer attached. Upon inspection of the truck, it was determined that the VIN had been altered and the truck had been painted from white to gray in an effort to conceal the identity of the stolen vehicle. However, due to the unique way that the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery Network is directly tied to the VIN of the vehicle and integrated into the National Computer Crime Data Base, the Officers were able to identify the truck as the stolen 2016 Ram 3500 truck that was stolen. Upon inspection of the Big Tex trailer that was attached to the stolen truck, it was determined its VIN plate was missing and could not be identified on scene. The Ram 3500 and the trailer were towed from scene. This case remains an active and ongoing investigation which spans three states.
The LoJack® System was installed in the Ram 3500 in April 2016 at Thornton Road Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Lithia Springs, Ga.