LoJack Corp. says a review of its theft recoveries from 2007 reveals that organized crime rings and the Internet fuel a growing problem of motorcycle theft.
"Once again, this year's best recovery stories highlight that sophisticated crime rings are often behind motorcycle theft and that owners need to do everything possible to protect their bikes," says Ronald V. Waters, president and COO, LoJack. "Today's owners need to be vigilant not only about where they park their motorcycles and how they protect them, but also from what sources they are buying parts and accessories, as evidenced by the growing number of thieves who are selling stolen parts online."
The company quotes recent figures from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, indicating that motorcycle theft in the United States has jumped 137 percent since 2000. The LoJack recovery system assisted in helping police bust numerous chop shops and theft rings across the country in '07. Below are some of the firm's top recovery stories from last year.
"Biggest Single Chop Shop Recovery" — One LoJack-equipped Suzuki GSX-R600 led Orlando, Fla. area police and auto theft investigators to discover a chop shop with 11 other non-LoJack-equipped motorcycles, eight motorcycle frames and multiple motorcycle parts and tools with a total value of $200,000.
"Fastest Motorcycle Recovery" — In this recovery, a Yamaha YZF750 was stolen from a locked garage in a gated community outside Denver, Colo. Area police were able to find the bike only 6 minutes after system activation.
"Best Bust Reflecting the Trend of Selling Stolen Parts Online" — In this recovery, a LoJack-equipped Suzuki GSX-R600 led Chicago area police to a chop shop with not only multiple stolen motorcycles and engines, but also hundreds of stolen motorcycle parts — all readied to be sold online. Officers discovered that the thieves had more than 200 transactions selling stolen parts online in the previous six months.
"Best Recovery From a Bike Rally" — In this recovery, the owner of a Suzuki GSX-R1000 had his bike stolen from a rally in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Area police not only recovered his bike within mere hours of system activation, but also found multiple other stolen motorcycles.
"Best Recovery Showcasing Strength of RF Technology" — A stolen LoJack-equipped Yamaha motorcycle led police in Fort Worth, Texas, to the bike's location in a metal building. LoJack's Radio Frequency technology — which operates even if the stolen asset is in a steel container, under dense foliage or in a concrete building — allowed the bike to be recovered in only 12 minutes after system activation. This recovery also uncovered a chop shop with other stolen bikes.
Based in Westwood, Mass., LoJack operates in 26 states and the District of Columbia, and in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.