LoJack Foils Customer's Car Theft Scam

If you’re going to report your vehicle has been stolen and then hide it in a friend’s backyard with license plates you grabbed from your boyfriend’s house, then make sure it doesn’t have a LoJack system installed first. A woman in San Diego did just that in an attempt to prevent it from being repossessed, but as soon as she filed the report with the police, they activated the system and traced the vehicle.

The woman “was arrested on suspicion of filing a false vehicle theft report with intent to deceive and falsely reporting a crime to a peace officer.” No word yet on whether she’ll be charged for insurance fraud, although we would imagine that would be part of the whole “we found your unstolen car” package.

“LoJack undoes scheme to fake SUV theft” [Sign On San Diego] (thanks to Stacy!)
(Image: LoJack)


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  1. wring says:

    hello Big Brother

  2. cditty says:

    More like, hello stupid criminal.

  3. warchild says:

    Nice .. this one should be filed underneath the “dumb ass criminals” header.

  4. alhypo says:

    I bet that was awkward for her.

  5. Buran says:

    @wring: Well, if you installed it in the first place, you should be aware that these things can be used to spy on you.

    I refuse to get anything that comes with OnStar or a clone of it due to the fact that the microphone can be turned on remotely, your locks can be tripped remotely, and you can be tracked. One of these companies admitted having turned on the mike to spy on someone (at the behest of police, but still) but as far as I can tell none of the stories covering that incident actually outed them.

    Therefore, they’re ALL on my blacklist. If I ever need a specific vehicle that has it installed, I’ll add a switch to the wiring that disables the antenna the system uses.

  6. ironchef says:

    I heard you can disable a low jack system by snapping off the antenna. The tracker uses the antenna broadcast its signal. Apparently the steel body of the car has a knack of blocking the signal.

  7. lowlight69 says:

    @wring: Big Brother? hardly, lo-jack is a voluntary system installed in users’ cars. you have to pay for it to be installed and pay for the service. Big Brother, really?!?!

    much closer to simple stupidity and greed than Big Brother.

  8. mandarin says:

    There goes her future career as a criminal mastermind…

  9. vex says:

    Since she can’t even pay her bills its obvious we’re not dealing with a criminal genius here.

  10. magus_melchior says:

    Coming to a Simpsons episode near you:
    “Heh, heh, heh. Now to wait for the insurance check.”
    “Dad, didn’t you have a LoJack system installed?”
    “… D’oh!!”

  11. XTC46 says:

    @lowlight69: Actually, many cars come with it pre-installed and paying for the service just means they will give you the information when asked for it. It doesn’t mean that at any given time someone looking for it (say the police after a criminal) cant have them see where it is.

  12. nothing says:

    @xtc46: I have also heard of many cases when used cars were purchased that the previous ownder had Lo-Jack installed and the new owner isn’t even aware of it.



  13. nothing says:

    @I-VTAK: owner

  14. iamme99 says:

    Thanks! I’ll make sure to keep this in mind before falsely reporting my car was stolen.

    I wonder what they planned to do with the car after reporting it and maybe collecting the payout? Strip it and sell the parts? Drive it to Mexico & leave it there?

    Also, insurance companies and car dealers might be spraying the parts with these cool little dots:

  15. PatrickPortland says:

    @ironchef: No, the antenna isn’t used. Interesting rumor, though.

  16. humphrmi says:

    @xtc46: Actually, the stated purpose of LoJack is to give police that are equipped with lojack tracking units the location of a car that has been reported stolen ([www.lojack.com]). So if you pay for LoJack, you must know that when you report the car stolen, the police will be alerted to it’s location. No breach of privacy here. Move along.

  17. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Cool story! I don’t know many honest people who report their own vehicles stolen in order to commit insurance fraud, so it’s nice to see a sleazebag criminal get what’s coming to her.

  18. GitEmSteveDave says:

    Just build yourself a car size Farady(sp?) cage. All you need is enough fine mesh brass or copper rolls, and you can construct one that will foil ALL transmitter based tracking signals. Of course, if you could afford the mesh AND the structure to house the whole shebang, you might not be being re-possessed.

  19. humphrmi says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Or, you could not pay for the service, and it’ll stop working. Since LoJack is a service that the consumer chooses to activate and pay for you don’t really need to start buying rolls of copper.

  20. StevieD says:


    Why not build a foil hat for the car. That way you can protect both the car and yourself.

  21. Sudonum says:

    And get free burritos for you and the car! [consumerist.com]

  22. agb says:

    Interesting article, but what does this have to do with consumerism?

    New blog idea: The Criminalist.

  23. matthew_k says:

    The story is a piece of obviously bad journalism. I’d be willing to bet a large sum this was a sub-prime leaser leasing from a buy-here-pay-here-weekly kind of car lot. The police wouldn’t have known it had lojack unless someone told them, and that someone was probably the title holder. Lojack systems are designed to be hidden in the car so you’ve got some time to report it stolen while it’s on the way to the chop shop.

    So, the question at hand is if it’s all right for the place leasing you a car to install a tracking system without notifying you about it?

  24. Vicky says:

    Tangential, but nevertheless, here’s my word to the wise – I was at a restaurant with someone whose car was stolen from the lot while we were eating. After he called the police (this was in Houston) and mentioned he had LoJack, he was told that they only activate LoJack during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. This was a Friday afternoon and by Monday the car could absolutely be out of state or even out of the country. He was just lucky someone left it in a mall parking lot to cool down. It convinced me that LoJack is a complete waste of money in Houston and that I would definitely call the local police and check on their policy before getting it for another area of the country.

  25. oneheadlite says:

    AGB: Criminals who do stupid things and get caught also happen to also be bad consumers. So when we see these articles, we can laugh at them and give ourselves a pat on the back for being good consumers and stay motivated in our quests to be successful financially.

  26. levenhopper says:

    @Vicky: Unless I see that in their TOS you agree to when you pay for the service, I won’t believe it.

    If it is true, then I can only imagine the class-action suite headed their way, for deceptive marketing.