Ford Econoline Van Rented and Never Returned — Lee County Deputies Quickly Locate Abandoned Van

  • April 23, 2012
  • recovery stories

On Thursday, February 9, 2012, the owner of a 2008 Ford Econoline van contacted the Fort Myers Police Department to report their van stolen. Upon arrival at the scene, the responding officer met with the owner of the Econoline, who stated that a customer had rented the van for 75 minutes on February 2, 2012. The manager of the store contacted the customer, who advised that she was going to keep overnight. The store manager finally heard back from the customer four days later — on February 6 — when she claimed that she would return the van the next day. However, the company never heard from the customer again and discovered that the phone number given was not that of the customer.

The responding officer prepared a stolen vehicle report and had the vehicle’s information entered into the federal and state crime computers. This routine police procedure automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the Ford Econoline.

Later that evening, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies received the Econoline’s silent LoJack signal and began tracking it by following the directional and signal strength cues on their patrol car’s LoJack Police Tracking Computer. The deputy, along with backup, quickly located the van, abandoned behind a hotel in the 20000 block of Summerlin Road. The vehicle was recovered, towed to the police impound yard for safekeeping, and removed from police computer systems.

The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Police Recovery System was installed in this Ford Econoline van on June 2, 2008, and has been protecting it ever since.