Vehicle theft is a serious - growing - problem that can hit dealerships hard. A PassTime dealer in Houston faced this issue when they had six vehicles stolen in just three months.
Between mid-July and early October, the dealer group had three vehicles stolen directly from the dealer’s lots, one vehicle stolen outside a customer’s home and two additional vehicles stolen in fraudulent deals. Thankfully, all the vehicles were equipped with PassTime’s InTouch VP device, a battery-powered GPS monitoring and theft-recovery device, which helped successfully recover all six stolen vehicles, typically within hours. Without InTouch VP, who knows how long it may have taken to recover these vehicles, if they were found at all.
In mid-July 2023, The Houston-area dealer group identified that a GMC Sierra 3500HD was missing from the lot. After some initial investigation, it was quickly determined that the vehicle had been stolen the prior evening and police were immediately contacted. After filing a police report, the dealer then contacted their PassTime InTouch VP account rep who activated the InTouch VP device installed on the vehicle and began tracking. After receiving vital location information from the device, PassTime worked with the dealer and law enforcement to provide real-time GPS location information on the vehicle. With this information, police were able to locate and recover the vehicle in less than two hours.
About two months later, a Cadillac Escalade was stolen from a different lot in the early morning hours. It was noticed missing just a few hours later when the store was opening for business. Following the same procedures, police were immediately contacted, followed by activation of the InTouch VP device by the PassTime account rep. PassTime provided accurate GPS location information of the vehicle to the sheriff and the vehicle was recovered by law enforcement about 90 minutes later.
Less than two weeks later, another GMC Sierra was stolen from a lot in the evening. After contacting the police and PassTime at about 6:30 pm, after tracking the vehicle and providing location data to the sheriff's office, the vehicle was recovered in just over two hours.
It was determined, after the thefts and recovery of the vehicles, that the criminals had used a transponder which allowed them to capture the keyless entry codes of the vehicles to gain entry and steal the vehicles.
In addition to these vehicle thefts directly from the dealers’ lots, in early September, a customer who had purchased a vehicle less than a week earlier, woke up to find their truck had been stolen from outside their home in the early morning hours. The customer used the InTouch VP app to contact PassTime, who then activated the device to start tracking the vehicle. PassTime then worked with local law enforcement by providing them real-time GPS location information. The vehicle was recovered just a few hours later that same day.
In addition to blatant vehicle thefts from dealer lots, car dealers nationwide are increasingly being the victims of fraud purchases. While there are dozens of different ways this can happen, it typically involves an individual coming in to purchase a vehicle with a false identity and partial or completely fabricated supporting documentation. To the dealer and finance company, everything looks to be in order, the sale is completed, and the customer drives away with their vehicle. It is typically a couple days later when the bank identifies the fraud, but by then, the thieves are long gone.
As was the case with two additional stolen vehicles in Houston. In mid-August, and then again in late September, fraudsters purchased trucks with fake paperwork. After the dealership was notified that these were fraud deals, they contacted the police department to report the vehicles as stolen, and then PassTime to activate the InTouch VP devices installed on the vehicles. After tracking the vehicles, one was recovered within a couple hours of being reported stolen. The other, while more difficult to recover due to law enforcement jurisdictions, was successfully tracked and recovered within a couple days.
InTouch VP is a battery-powered, GPS theft recovery system that benefits both dealers and consumers. Dealers, like the Houston-area dealer group, can pre-load InTouch VP on all vehicles on their lot to take advantage of vehicle monitoring and theft recovery features, in the event a vehicle is stolen off the lot.
Additionally, InTouch VP can be re-sold to the consumer through F&I during the vehicle purchase, increasing PVR and passing the theft recovery benefits on to the customer. Once the sale is complete and the device transferred, the consumer can utilize the InTouch VP app, and activate the device if their vehicle is stolen.
PassTime’s InTouch VP program utilizes the revolutionary GPS tracker, Encore, a wire-free, battery-powered GPS device. Here’s what makes it different:
For more information on InTouch VP, schedule a demo today!