A security system linked to the vehicle's alarm gives would-be thieves just 60 seconds to get away with their loot on wheels Hong Kong thieves will need the skills of Randall Raines of Gone In Sixty Seconds if they plan to steal vehicles from the city's cark parks. This is exactly how much time SecurePark, a new venture of The Location Company, says thieves have with its new security system that prevents vehicle theft inside car parks. With the system, the vehicle alerts car-park security through a wireless signal as soon as the car's alarm detects that it is being stolen. Staff are then dispatched to stop the thieves before they have a chance to drive away. 'It's all about providing personal security for an individual's car. It's all about getting a person to that vehicle as soon as possible,' said chief technology officer Alex Key. 'With SecurePark, we are trying to reduce the amount of time that a car thief has to work on a vehicle. Time is critical.' According to police figures, of the 512 vehicles stolen in the eight months to August, 112 were stolen from car parks. SecurePark hoped to reduce this number by installing its system in as many as 30 commercial and residential car parks over the next 18 months, and selling subscription services to car owners for $1,200 a year. There are two main components to the system: the radio network built inside car parks and the equipment installed in cars. For $3,500, SecurePark installs a wireless unit inside a vehicle. The device works with the car's present alarm system, or one provided by SecurePark. If the alarm is triggered, the SecurePark unit transmits a distress signal - along with information about the car, such as its make, model and location - to car-park security, SecurePark's headquarters and the police. The broadcast is continuous, even if the thief disables the alarm after the break-in. If the vehicle moves, security can send a signal to the car to disable it. Mr Key claimed the system would be difficult to defeat. The SecurePark unit uses a proprietary radio frequency licensed by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, which makes signal jamming difficult. Furthermore, while most thieves can break into a car and disable an alarm within a few seconds, they must get around the car's ignition system and other obstacles. SecurePark cars are not identified, so a thief is working against a clock without realising the seconds are ticking away. 'You have one minute, because somebody is going to tap on the window and ask what you are doing,' Mr Key said. SecurePark will not become valuable to car owners until a large number of car parks install the system. The company's technology goes live at the IFC from Thursday. Mr Key said users of The Location Company's LoJack car theft prevention system, which costs more than $20,000 to install, would not need SecurePark. LoJack is primarily sold through insurers of cars considered high theft risks, while SecurePark would be sold via property managers to car-park tenants. Mr Key said upmarket commercial and residential properties looking to meet the high expectations of their customers should find SecurePark attractive. 'You have to look at who has the problem here. Let's say you are a tenant in a commercial building. You drive in to work in the morning and you park your Mercedes in the car park at the bottom and you pay $4,000 a month for that parking space. You come down in the evening and your car is gone. Who do you blame? You blame the property manager.' Although SecurePark might be effective in deterring thefts inside car parks, the net result on stolen vehicle statistics could be a shift in activity to the streets. There is also the potential of turning car thefts into a violent confrontation between surprised criminals and car-park staff, because prevention relies in part on the intervention of private security staff. But these were situations security staff should be trained to handle. 'It's crime. It's sort of part and parcel of dealing with people who don't follow the law,' he said.