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What Is A LoJack?


Black-market stolen parts value - from LoJack

In over 25 years of use, LoJack has also become a generic term encompassing all vehicle tracking and recovery systems.  Similarly, it’s like calling any bandage a Band-Aid or tissue a Kleenex.  With broadened definition comes potential for misperception.  Here’s a brief look at the actual LoJack itself.

How it works.  A small wireless transceiver is professionally installed in a random location in a car, light truck or motorcycle.  From that point on, it sends out radio frequency (RF) signals, not relying on GPS as some systems utilize (according to the company, RF enables use in parking garages or other signal-blocking buildings).  This continues whether or not the vehicle goes missing.  If and when the vehicle is stolen, police hone in on the signal and follow it to the vehicle’s location.

Deterrence.  You will not see LoJack-equipped vehicles emblazoned with decals.  That’s by design.  The company reckons it will only challenge thieves to destructively poke and prod around the vehicle to locate the LoJack device and disable it before driving.  So if a thief takes his chances and makes off with an active car, the tracking device can not only lead authorities to the vehicle, it can help cops bust chop shops when the tracked vehicle is brought back to such a place.  So in that sense, thieves might think twice and not risk taking a car that acts like a homing beacon to larger illicit activities.

Not just for high-end cars.  Like any enthusiast, a car thief would love a shot behind the wheel of a six-figure whip or timeless classic.  But those cars are few and far between, and drawing that kind of attention adds an extra element of risk.  That’s why minivans go missing, along with ho-hum family sedans and other rides you’d never find on a bedroom wall poster.  LoJack doesn’t depend on vehicle-specific applications and thus can work with a bigger variety of vehicles.

Not just for cars, period.  The definition of a LoJack is expanding.  With systems at work in 28 states and over 30 countries, the company is branching out to apply its technology elsewhere.  Cargo protection, commercial and heavy equipment, laptops and even at-risk people are being protected.

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