GPS maps the end of the road for criminals
Global-positioning satellite (GPS) technology, originally used by the US military to track weapons systems, has become popular for beating local car thieves, according to security company LoJack Hong Kong.
The high-tech system was especially popular among owners of multi-purpose vans like the Toyota Alphard, which have become a hot target for car thieves, said the firm's general manger, Matthias Lee Ping-hang.
After the device is installed, vehicles are monitored by the company's 24-hour control centre. If a vehicle is stolen, it will show up on the GPS map at the control centre, pinpointing its location and showing its direction and speed.
'Our GPS system can find a stolen vehicle not only in Hong Kong, but also in Guangdong province,' Mr Lee said. 'It can remotely disable a stolen car by cutting the fuel supply.'
The GPS system costs at least HK$19,000 in installation fees plus a monthly charge of HK$2,000.
Mr Lee said his company initially focused on sedans and goods vehicles when it was set up in 1999. 'But we have expanded our services to vessels such as oil barges and construction machines since 2002.'
The number of vehicles reported stolen in Hong Kong soared 11.4 per cent to 1,774 last year from 1,592 in 2005, according to police.