I just received a press release from the folk at LoJack, maker of RF-based stolen vehicle recovery systems. As usual in these missives, they noted a recent successful recovery of a stolen car. But what is perhaps most unsettling is what the thieves used the car for before it was recovered.
When the owner of a two week old Lexus was in a restaurant, her SUV was stolen—with the thieves activating the navigation system to direct them "home" to the likely unoccupied house. Once there, the garage door opener in the vehicle allowed them to enter and burglarize it.
The owner, realizing her car was taken, called police, who activated the LoJack system. The SUV was recovered about an hour later, abandoned near the driver's home. Upon entering the house, she found her house ransacked. Luckily suspects have been arrested.
LoJack warns, to thwart such crimes, that nav system users should not enter their home address as "home" in the system but as one of the destinations instead. I think you could also enter a nearby public building or restaurant, etc, because you could then deviate from the route to that location once you are near your home.
But let's face it; most thieves are not all that stupid. And whether you have a navigation system or not, they can just look at the registration to have a pretty good idea where you live—unless of course you keep the glove compartment locked—which still could be ripped open.
So as a technical type, or even with just good old common sense, what would you do to prevent such an occurrence?
Go to the Automotive Designline home page
for the latest in automotive electronics design, technology, trends, products, and news. Also, get a weekly highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for our weekly automotive electronics newsletter here