Auto dealers use GPS tracking mainly for one specific purpose: to prevent theft. It turns out this helps on both ends for the seller and the buyer. Before the use of dealership tracking, finding a stolen car in a large city was like the cliché needle in a haystack. Police would like to help, sure, but they had more pressing concerns and couldn’t work on such time-consuming tasks as hunting for a stolen car. Basically, either the thief had to perform some other crime while with the vehicle in order to be caught, or some other party had to turn him in. But technology changes everything.
GPS lets you watch where an object or person is, anytime, anywhere. All it takes is a small tracking device attached to what you need to trace. That device sends its geographic coordinates to a satellite, and the satellite communicates to your computer, so you can see what you’re tracking in real-time or look at the history of its movements.
Auto dealers are using GPS to keep track of the valuable assets parked in their lots. A major use for dealership tracking is found in the “buy here, pay here” market. Since these dealers finance their own loans rather than using a bank, they also carry the loss if a buyer stops making payments and the car disappears. With tracking, they can find the car with little trouble, instead of writing it off as lost. Some devices can even disable the car, so no one has to chase it. Dealers also use tracking to find cars that are stolen from the lot, or, in the case of this story, from the customer who bought the vehicle.
On Monday, November 29, a car was stolen from the parking lot at Sacramento’s Arden Fair Mall. The vehicle’s owner worked at the mall and called the dealership when she discovered her car was missing at the end of her shift. She had recently purchased the car and the dealer had fitted it with a tracking device. When the car stopped moving, the dealer alerted the police, who found the car and arrested Raleigh Figueras as he tried to restart the car at an intersection. Figueras turned out to be violating his parole and is now being held with several charges. Thanks to the dealer’s GPS system, this crime was resolved with minimal hassle.
Article Written by Greg Bartlett