October 21, 2016
Although vehicle crime has reduced year-on-year as a direct result of increased vehicle security, there is a trend towards thieves targeting high-end vehicles including Range Rover Sports, BMW X5’s and Audi R8’s. Many of these premium vehicles are stolen through ‘keyless theft’, whereby the car is hacked electronically so it can be driven away without the need for a key. Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated electronic devices, or even devices that can be cheaply bought off the internet, to bypass or take control of the computers securing cars.
Prestige vehicles are targeted for resale in markets such as Eastern Europe and Africa, or are stripped for their valuable components. Desirable makes and models are stolen to order and worryingly for high-end owners, many stolen prestige vehicles are never recovered as large numbers are shipped abroad to fund organised crime.
The theft of high-end vehicles has become such a problem in some affluent areas of London that police officers have even been told to stop all prestige cars being driven after midnight, so that the drivers’ details can be checked. Police have warned that as many as 10 vehicles per night are being stolen in some boroughs using keyless entry methods.
At AMI Group, we provide tracking solutions for owners of luxury cars across the UK. None are more prestigious than the Project 7, a limited-run F-type and the fastest and most powerful road Jaguar built yet. We were approached by a private buyer in the North West of England who had purchased two of the coveted Project 7 cars and due to their combined value of £270,000, was seeking some form of tracking device and protection against theft by criminals.
Just 250 of the Project 7 cars were built, with 80 of the sought after cars being sold to British buyers and 50 to Germans. Hand-built at Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations division to honour Jaguar’s seven Le Mans victories, the Project 7 has a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine modified to produce 567bhp plus 516lb ft of torque. With acceleration of 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds, the top speed is electronically limited to 186mph. Weighing in at just 1585kg, Project 7 has an all-aluminium body with bespoke carbon-fibre aerodynamic aids and a unique suspension.
The chosen AMI tracking system comprised a combination of a wired in device (VT1200) and a battery operated device (AT5) to provide the ultimate protection against theft. They could be covertly installed and provided the ability to constantly track the Project 7 cars. Utilising advanced GPS, GSM and RF technology and with the AT5 offering battery life of up to 20 years, the client is able to login to the AMI Nexis software platform to locate the Jaguars at any time and collect a wealth of data. The assets activity and journeys can be detected via ignition sense or an internal movement sensor known as an accelerometer. Once movement is detected, the device collates asset activity and GPS data before sending information via GPRS to the AMI Nexis software platform. The system collects data including GPS positional information, speed, direction of travel, mileage covered, engine running hours, fuel usage, temperature monitoring, user identification and the cars can even be immobilised online or via text message.
Not only do the tracking devices keep an eye on the Project 7 cars 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thus providing the client with peace of mind that the cars could be quickly located and recovered if they were ever stolen, they also reduced the client’s insurance premiums as understandably the cost to insure such covetable cars is at the higher end of the spectrum.