Thief Steals Keys and Toyota Highlander at the Gym, Busted When Car Ran Out of Gas

  • May 25, 2012
  • recovery stories

On Friday afternoon, the owner of a 2010 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to report the vehicle stolen. Upon arrival at the scene, the responding officer met with the owner of the Highlander, who explained that sometime while he was at the gym someone had stolen his keys and ultimately his Highlander from where he had parked it.

The 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 Toyota Highlander.

Approximately 25 minutes later, a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office deputy received the silent LoJack radio signal from the stolen Toyota’s LoJack unit. Following the directional and signal strength cues on their patrol car’s LoJack Police Tracking Computer, the deputy and backup quickly located the Highlander in the middle of the roadway at the exit ramp of I-95 and Okeechobee Road. A detective arrived and observed a subject walking towards a gas station. The detective met with the subject and inquired as to whether the vehicle belonged to him. The subject claimed that he was the owner of the vehicle, and that he had run out of gas and was walking to the station to get some gas. The detective escorted the suspect back to the Highalnder and was “patted” down by the deputy. In the suspect’s front right pants pocket, the deputy found the keys to the truck. The suspect was then arrested for Grand Theft Auto, taken to St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters for further investigation, and ultimately transported to the St. Lucie County Jail. The Highalnder was recovered in good condition, towed to the police impound yard for safekeeping, and removed from the police computer systems.

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in this Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle on November 17, 2009, and has been protecting it ever since.