Stealing a car right from a dealership lot might seem like a smart play if you’re a thief, particularly if you’ve just watched Gone in 60 Seconds. However, modern technology makes such a crime much harder to get away with. This was ably demonstrated in Detroit last week, when Michigan State Police were alerted to a Corvette C8 Stingray that had been stolen from a dealership in Novi.
The incident occurred just after 10AM on July 15, with Michigan police being notified of the stolen Corvette thanks to the built-in GM OnStar system. OnStar provided continuous updates on the vehicle’s location, with law enforcement first spotting the vehicle at 10:35AM. Police allege the driver of the vehicle fled after troopers turned their emergency lights on to pull over the vehicle.
The chase was a short one, with the driver apparently sideswiping a van on I-75 Service Drive and crashing into vehicles parked on the side of the road. Dashcam footage from the police cruiser on the scene shows the Corvette destroyed by the impact, with heavy damage to the front fender, several wheels missing, and the rear bumper torn off entirely. Bodycam footage shows police apprehending a suspect on foot, with subsequent reports stating both the driver and a passenger were taken into custody after the crash. Police are also interviewing the suspects with regards to other crimes in the area. Dealerships in Lansing and Howell have also had cars stolen in similar circumstances recently.
Interestingly, despite GM’s OnStar system having the capability to disable stolen vehicles, it wasn’t used in this case. Procedures state that the feature can only be activated once a police report has been submitted to OnStar, making the system somewhat less useful in heat-of-the-moment situations like these. It also requires confirmation from police that conditions are safe to slow the vehicle down remotely. Simply cutting a stolen vehicle’s engine while it’s on the highway, for example, could easily cause a dangerous accident, so it makes sense that these protections are in place.
No injuries were reported, though the vehicle is undoubtedly a write-off. The incident serves as an example of how modern technologies like OnStar make it more difficult for thieves to get away with a stolen vehicle. Of course, they typically only work if you’ve paid up your subscription fees. Setting up some kind of vehicle tracker may be in your best interests if you live in Detroit, given over one thousand Dodge Chargers were stolen there in the last year alone.
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