November 28, 2005 5:49 AM PST

Thieves put car security system to test

BT's new vehicle tracking system found its first stolen car before the system had gone live.

The car, an Audi A4, belongs to David Thomas--project manager for the new BT Trackit system. It was stolen outside his house on Nov. 2 and was recovered, undamaged, the same day.

Thomas was alerted to the theft by BT's Secure Operating Centre. Using satellite-based tracking technology, the car was pinpointed and the local police were informed and were able to recover the vehicle. The car had been abandoned six miles away.

"I couldn't believe it when I discovered my car had been stolen," said Thomas. "I suppose it was an opportunity to put BT Trackit to the test for real."

The theft and subsequent recovery of the vehicle was announced by BT on Monday, the same day that Trackit was officially launched. A BT spokesman insisted that the company had not invented the story.

BT Trackit allow BT to pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle in the UK and other parts of Europe, using GPS tracking. The system was developed by BT redcare, the secure wireless data solutions business of BT Group. The company claims that it achieves the toughest insurance industry security standard, Thatcham's Category 5.

But this security comes at a cost. A BT Trackit Unit for your car will cost $515 (299.99 pounds) and installation will cost another $255 (149 pounds). There is also an annual service charge of $255.

BT claims the service is "20 percent cheaper than a leading provider of Category 5 products" such as Tracker Network.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

6 comments

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Are you kidding?
This is the biggest publicity stunt ever. A stolen car generally doesnt just get abandoned... undamaged. Hmmm... and the announcment was made the same day of the release? WOW.... what a coincidence. Very dissapointed at this making NEWS.
Posted by (1 comment )
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exactly
There are no coincedences in life; just greedy people and conspiracies.
Posted by Masterchris11 (9 comments )
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OnStar
OnStar has had this capability for years now. What's new here?
Posted by WDS2 (183 comments )
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Sounds like a plant!
This sat track car alarm equipment has been standard fitment to all Fererari's, Lamborghini's , Porsche's and other expensive toy cars for years as part and parcel of the user negotiated insurance package. Further many police forces install these devices in honey cars, to routinely track down chop shops, and organised card theft gangs. Besides since Audi A4's have a fairly high antitheft rating, this story seems like a publicity plant(he should have chosen a Honda motor vehicle to make the story more plausible!)
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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There are better ways
I still think that install preventative measures as a first choice are a better idea. Yeah this thing may get your car recovered, but how about not letting it get stolen in the first place. Here are some things you can do at home to prevent your car from being stolen:

1. install an ignition kill switch that must be flipped for the car to start.

2. install a fuel line cut out (easy)

lock your doors

and dont drive a car that ist worht more than twice the other cars in the area you live in (if you can afford that, you can probably afford to live somewhere nicer)
Posted by Masterchris11 (9 comments )
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AND...
whats more is that these simple things can lower insurance and dont require a yearly fee. Although, if you do drive a really nic e and/or expensive car it *might* be worth it to buy a vehicle recovery and tracking system...*might* be.
Posted by Masterchris11 (9 comments )
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