anti-car theft units a tough sell in o.c. : * security: makers of innovative tracking systems for stolen vehicles find the county market tough to break into. - new car alarm system
In a chilling scene, a man told the audience in a recent radio ad how an armed gangster pointed a gun to his face with his MercedesBenz.
Fortunately, the victim's car was equipped with a LoJack tracking device connected to the Sheriff's Department.
Two hours later, he got his car back and the swindler was on his way to prison.
Well, he doesn't live in Orange County.
While owners of Los Angeles County are equipped with the latest Anti for their wheels
Car anti-theft device-
Remote tracking unit directly linked to law enforcement agencies-
Companies that produce and sell these products find it difficult to enter the Orange County market.
Licensing and financial roadblocks have prevented owners in Orange County from collectively connecting to the remote tracking system, which some law enforcement officials believe is the ultimate goal of car theft prevention.
How do you find us and Teletrac is the happiest
These devices are well known, but only Teletrac is available in Orange County.
However, its popularity has not yet taken off, and local alarm companies say they have very little sales.
"In fact, we have almost stopped selling it," said Don Creek, owner of Orange County mobile alert.
"I don't know if it's the price or what.
The Teletrac system has won international Teletrac Systems Inc.
At Inglewood, each unit costs $595. -
$200 more than traditional car alarms-and has a $15-per-
Monthly service fee.
Some dealers said the extra cost scared customers away.
"It doesn't sell because it's expensive," said David Wilkinson, owner of Laguna Niguel Wilkinson auto safety . ".
In fact, almost all Teletrac sales in his store are aimed at owners of luxury or collectible cars, he said.
Most car owners have completely avoided the system, and they prefer traditional alarms and even cheap alternatives, such as custom bar clubs ---
The steering wheel of the car was locked so that it could not turn.
"So much money now (
(Majority of car owners)
"I don't want to touch it," said Wilkinson . " Still, Wilkinson admits that Teletrac is a "wave of the future" and is slowly gaining popularity in Orange County.
Law enforcement officers in Orange County were also hesitant at the beginning --
Expenses of the Teletrac system.
Despite the software provided by Teletrac, police agencies need to buy computer systems that cost thousands of dollars.
Most police agencies say they don't have enough surplus in their budget to buy the equipment they need.
Since the launch of Teletrac in early 1991, company reps have contacted most Orange County law enforcement agencies to convince a number of agencies, including the Santa Ana Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Department, to test the system free of charge.
But so far, only Huntington Beach has purchased systems made locally by Mitsubishi International. in Cypress.
And Teletrac Audiovox also produces devices.
Huntington Beach police station
Bill Peterson said the department was satisfied with the system, saying it was very accurate and was able to accurately locate 50 feet police units equipped with Teletrac equipment during testing.
However, he added that since the purchase of the system in last July, his department has not followed a vehicle that was actually stolen.
In fact, the only time a Teletrac device was launched in Orange County was in September 1991, when a gunman hijacked a car with a device.
With the help of Teletrac, Garden Grove police found the car and caught the robber.
Orange County Sheriff's Department, the county's largest law enforcement agency, did not believe the value of Teletrac and recently dismantled its demonstration system.
"It's going to cost us a lot of money," Sheriff's Lt. Richard J. Olson said.
Although he does not know the exact cost of the computer system needed to drive Teletrac software, he says it will cost the county "thousands of dollars ".
We just have no money.
This is all about it.
LoJack produced by LoJack company
Terry Solley, general manager of LoJack California operations, said that California in Los Angeles also sells for $595 per unit, but does not require a monthly service charge.
However, under a licensing agreement with the State Department, LoJack was banned from operating outside Los Angeles County.
LoJack is licensed because it has access to the California telecom system that provides stolen information
Provide car information to local police agencies.
LoJack is now the second year of three years.
David Puglia, spokesman for the state attorney general's office, said that after a one-year probationary period, state law enforcement officials will decide on its effectiveness and whether expansion is allowed.
LoJack was first proposed in Massachusetts in 1986 and began operating in California in October 1990 under an agreement with the Los Angeles Police Department and 46 other Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies.
Once activated, LoJack devices can be tracked through the screen inside the police car.
The black box, about the size of the blackboard eraser, signals that it can be picked up in five hoursto 25-mile radius.
So far, the results are promising, Solly said.
Since its establishment in Los Angeles, LoJack has responded to 190 incidents of theft. car reports.
Among them, 90% of the cars have been recycled.
Solly said his company had been lobbying to persuade the attorney general's office to approve the extension of the system to the New Territories in advance, but failed.
But despite the impressive pace of recovery, Atty. Gen.
Dan Lungren wrote in an article on January.
The 24 letters to LoJack said, "at the moment, we are concerned about the lack of documentation proving the validity of LoJack ".
LoJack doesn't seem to have an inherent problem, but the state intends to stick to the original schedule, Puglia added.
Predictably, the state's response disappointed LoJack.
"It's frustrating that we still can't provide the product (
In Orange County)," Soley said.
He added that the LoJack radio ad did not say that the system could only be used in Los Angeles County, and it caused a lot of repercussions ---
About one out of every four callers-
Owner from Orange County.
On the other hand, Teletrac does not require law enforcement clearance because it operates on its own radio frequency, said Ronald May, manager of Inglewood tele consumer services group.
Although the Teletrac system was sold in Orange County by more than 20 car alarm companies and electronic stores, the company has apparently not convinced law enforcement that it is worth investing in.
Mei said Teletrac could work even if the system was not available at the local police headquarters.
Unlike LoJack, the signal of the stolen car is sent directly to the 24-of Teletrac-
May said that Inglewood's hourly monitoring station has a larger signal range, allowing the detection of stolen cars from south to St. Clement.
Teletrac dispatchers either call the nearest police station, hunt down directly from Inglewood, or plug the signal into the Teletrac computer unit of the police station, if any ).
Mei said he hopes that the ambitious advertising campaign planned next month will raise interest in Teletrac.
As Teletrac became popular,-
Prices began to fall--
The market should be expanded to lower owners
Priced cars and-to-
He said he was the owner. LoJack Vs.
In the battle of the car theft recovery system, LoJack and Teletrac will travel to Southern California to control.
Comparison of the two systems: LoJackEntered California market: County, July 1990: ownership of Los Angeles: open transaction cost for consumers: $59
* Theft entry status stolen vehicle computer system, activation of LoJack unit in stolen vehicle.
* Local police forces with mobile computers track stolen cars.
Guarantee: If the vehicle is not recovered within 24 hours of the reporting time, LoJack promises to refund the price of the LoJack unit.
TeletracEntered into the California market: County February 1991: ownership of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino: private cost of ownership for consumers: $595 plus $15a-
* Theft of the car automatically triggers the device to be found hidden in the vehicle.
* Signal through 900-
Located in the MHz radio band of the Teletrac Control Center in Inglewood.
* Teletrac reported the theft to the local police station.
If the police department has a computer system, it will log in to Teletrac.
If not, Teletrac will direct the police unit to the location of the stolen vehicle by phone.
Guarantee: If the Teletrac vehicle is stolen and not recovered, or is declared as a total loss, Teletrac usually pays the difference between the new car price and the insurance settlement.
SOURCE: International Teletrac Systems Inc. , LoJack Corp.
California, James M.
Gomez and Dallas M.
Jackson/Los Angeles Times from Rip
Car theft cases have been rising in Orange County and Los Angeles County over the past five years.
The number of stolen vehicles in Los Angeles County is more than six times that in Orange County, but the recovery rate is 16% higher than in Orange County.
Orange County % recycling 1987: 79% 1988: 78 1989: 76. 6 1990: 75. 3 1991: 71.
4 LA County % recycling 1987: 89. 8% 1988: 89. 5 1989: 89. 2 1990: 88. 5 1991: 87.
Of the 94% vehicles stolen in January and February, about 3,326 were passenger cars and private trucks in Orange County.
About three of the four stolen cars were found, two of the three trucks were found, and one of the three motorcycles was found.
Stolen vehicle car: 2,221 motorcycles: 98 individual trucks: 921 others *: 86 recovery rate car: 76.
4% motorcycles: 37.
8% personal vans: 67.
8% all vehicles: 72.
0% * Includes commercial trucks, leisure vehicles and trailer Sources: California road patrol, Dallas M. research