APRS in the news !


Document version: 8.3.5 Document dated: 10 Mar 99 Author(s): Amateur Radio Newsline Inc 


How APRS helped track down a stolen car.

Most people are familiar with the Lo-Jack system for recovering stolen vehicles. 

Amateur radio operators have been experimenting with a similar system called APRS which really isn't designed to recover stolen cars, 

but certainly could be used in that mode. 

Now, the Oct 96 San Diego California Responder newsletter reports, as Scotty Leikett, W8KXX, was going to bed, 

he looked out his window and noticed that his APRS-equipped car was missing. 

One glance at his computer terminal showed that the vehicle was across town and moving! 

He notified the San Diego Police Department, but the dispatcher would not believe that an owner had the ability to track his stolen car by radio. When the policeman arrived, Scotty explained the ARPS system and showed him the car's symbol with the unique amateur call on an 

APRS city map. The officer relayed the precise location to the police cruisers. As it happened, the stolen car and a police cruiser were 

stopped at the same red light with the thieves were still in the car. Surprised at the officers' sudden attention, 

the culprits made an illegal left turn and the chase was on. Soon after the crooks abandoned the car and escaped, 

leaving a hand gun behind. The car was recovered without major damage thanks to APRS and ham radio.


Prepared from NEWSLINE RADIO scripts by the staff of the AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE, INC., formerly the WESTLINK RADIO NETWORK.