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Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

Posted October 29, 2014 11:16 AM by Jordan Perch
Pathfinder Tags: car theft car thieves III Kenya SMS technology
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Car theft is one of the most common crimes in the United States, with almost 700,000 vehicles stolen in 2013, and a very small percentage of them being recovered. According to the Insurance Information Institute, less than 12 percent of all car theft cases that occurred last year were solved. Given that law enforcement rarely manages to recover stolen vehicles, many car owners buy various anti-theft devices to protect their cars and prevent a theft before it's too late, but none of those devices that are currently offered on the market, such as mechanical and electronic immobilizers, or alarms, are usually not very convenient and are often complicated to use.

This is exactly what an innovative solution coming from a company based in Africa - where car theft is also a huge problem - addresses, as it only involves installing a tracking device in your car and sending a text message in case the car gets stolen. "Sunshine Tracking", a car security company with headquarters in Nairobi - the capital of Kenya, has created a relatively simple system, that although does not prevent thieves from stealing cars, is very effective in helping the police locate stolen cars and recover them, and track down the criminals. Kelvin Macharia Kuria, the founder of the company, developed this product that consists of a tracking device installed somewhere under the car's dashboard, and relies on CCTV and GPS to track the car, which is employed in other similar anti-theft systems, but the fact that Sunrise Tracking's system is connected to the car owner's mobile phone and can be controlled remotely is what sets it apart from the competition.

The way this system works is pretty straightforward:

  • if the device's sensors detect a car break-in, they alert the car's owner by sending a message to their phone.
  • Once the car starts moving, the device transmits its coordinates at all times, not only to the owner's phone, but to the security company's control center, as well.
  • After receiving the alert, the owner can immobilize the vehicle by sending an SMS to the device hidden in the car, containing a specific code word, commanding the device to cut the vehicle's acceleration function, eventually bringing the car to a complete stop.
  • The owner then calls the police and lets them know where the car is currently and where it is headed, helping them to the car as fast as possible. Then, the car can be mobilized again through a resume command from the owner's phone.

Sunshine Tracking also provides a fleet management system, which companies can use to track their vehicles and know where they are at all times and which routes their drivers are taking, even if they don't get robbed or lose the car keys. On top of helping law enforcement recover stolen vehicles, this system may well help reduce other crimes, as well, since it will allow police to find the places where car thieves try to hide after abandoning a stolen vehicle more easily, thus making more arrests and taking more criminals off the street, which in places like Kenya, but also in the developed countries, is always more than welcomed.

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#1

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/29/2014 1:40 PM

Well that explains the search questions for jammers a while back....

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#2

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/29/2014 3:12 PM

"many car owners buy various anti-theft devices to protect their cars"

I just buy insurance.

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#3

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/29/2014 3:20 PM

Or... you could buy a Stick Death Security System.

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#4
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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/29/2014 7:46 PM

You're sick!

Where can I buy one?

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#5
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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 5:16 AM

I prefer the neater South African system.

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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 7:49 AM

I didn't have audio on for that clip, but was there music playing from that car and was it "You Light Up my Life"?

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#7
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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 6:57 AM

Hilarious stuff! :)

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#11
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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 3:45 PM

How about the Trunk Monkey Anti Auto Theft System?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj540TmgH2c

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#6

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 5:18 AM

What happens if the remote stop leaves the car in the middle of a busy intersection or on a railway crossing? I can just imagine the blame sharing from the insurers.

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#9

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 10:57 AM

There was an older gentleman that I knew that had a customized 60's Cadillac that had 50's fins on it plus other modifications. He was adamant that no one was going to steal his car as long as he was alive. He wired a model t coil to a battery in the trunk and a electric antenna that dropped a grounding chain on the ground just behind the rear tire. Then the very second that you pushed the door button it connected you to the coil leaving you on the ground in pain, and after soiling yourself you were foolish enough to try it again it would keep shocking you until the battery died in the trunk or you gave up or went unconscious. But since it was a 908D tractor battery that would take several days. To turn it off he used a garage remote one of the older bulky ones, he was an engineer for Ford and a scrounger and never found a part he couldn't use somewhere in a new project. Later on he added a basket to the front seat and a sign on the side window. The sign said basket contains my watch rattlesnake his name is spike. To the day he died as far as I know no one ever tried to elevate him of the car. But a few tried the door handle to our chagrins thinking they could beat the system, only one guy was smart enough to use rubber gloves and leave a note he was the plant electrician.

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#10

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/30/2014 12:58 PM

Buy a Cavalier. Problem solved.

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#12

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/31/2014 7:02 AM

I solved this problem many years ago. I just don't own a car that is worth stealing.

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Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

10/31/2014 7:43 AM

The only problem with that thinking is as more people get that idea the more of those cars are out there the more the parts become worth more then the car AKA great theft items. That is what is happening here as Camry's and old Malibu's disappear every day, as well as old pickup for tailgates and beds.

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#14

Re: Stopping Car Thieves With an SMS

11/03/2014 1:04 AM

The system sounds similar to the Lo-Jack system marketed here. Nothing is fool-proof. Had a friend disappear in a car with it installed. When they finally found her, the police car had a detector in it, and it did not alert to the friend's car with the system installed.

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