Surveillance technology has reduced vehicle theft by 88 percent, according to Spy Associates, a surveillance equipment manufacturer.
In the 1970,s Massachusetts had some of the highest car theft rates in the country, according to the company. It's estimated that one out of every 35 cars in the state had been reported stolen. The Bay State used to be notorious for vehicle theft, but over the past few decades changes in technology have helped change that, according to Spy Associates.
According to the Lowell Sun in Lowell, Mass., car thefts have dropped 88 percent in the state of Massachusetts since the mid-1970s, Spy Associates noted. In 2012, Boston only had 1,575 reports of stolen vehicles, which pales in comparison to the 28,000 that were reported stolen in 1975. Many people will be surprised to learn that car thefts haven't been on a gradual decline since the 70s, theft numbers didn't really start decreasing until 2001.
The reason for that has little to do with the police and more to do with the spread of surveillance technology, the company claims. Thanks to the proliferation of anti-theft devices, GPS tracking, and surveillance cameras it's getting much easier to not only locate stolen vehicles, but to also catch the criminals who stole them.
Massachusetts's theft numbers could be a sign that other states will soon start reporting decreased rates of vehicle and property theft. Many state governments and private businesses have embraced surveillance technology, and their watchful eyes could be inadvertently helping the community as a whole.
"It's important for people to protect their property," said Jeff Jurist, the president of Spy Associates, "Our surveillance equipment helps countless people keep their possessions, money, and family secure."
Spy Associates noted the following:
- According to the FBI a motor vehicle is stolen in the U.S. every 43 seconds and the 737,142 vehicles that were stolen in 2010 caused an estimated $4.5 billion in property losses.
- Out of all of the reported vehicle thefts that are reported each year, it's estimated that only 11.8 percent of the thefts will be cleared through arrests and/or exceptional means.
- Outfitting vehicles with a GPS tracking device can help law enforcement officials quickly locate stolen property.
"We've sold thousands of GPS tracking devices and other surveillance equipment to citizens who wanted a way to protect their property," Jurist said, "And every one of them can sleep safer at night because they know that their things are well protected."
All of the equipment was recovered by Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies on a remote logging road about 40 miles northwest of Portland, Ore., a little over 24 hours after it was taken.
GPS-based solution reduces operational costs of small-to-midsized fleets.