GM and OnStar announce the use of OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (SVS) service to help safely recover a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe that was carjacked at gunpoint from a subscriber in Visalia, California. This is the first time that SVS has been activated to help a subscriber in a carjacking situation.
At approximately 3:18 a.m. PDT on Sunday, Oct. 18, Lindsay, California resident Jose Ruiz and his cousin were carjacked by a lone assailant wielding a shotgun. The perpetrator ordered the two men out of the vehicle, robbed them of personal belongings and sped off in the Tahoe.
Ruiz was able to flag down a police officer to report the incident. He notified them that his vehicle was equipped with OnStar, and requested that the Visalia officers leverage the service to help recover his vehicle.
Once OnStar advisors verified that the Tahoe had been stolen and that the subscriber had requested assistance, they were able to quickly locate the Tahoe and alert the Visalia officers of its location. They were also then able to initiate OnStar’s newest stolen vehicle recovery service, Remote Ignition Block, to ensure that if the suspect stopped the vehicle before the officers were able to locate it visually, he wouldn’t be able to restart it.
Once officers had the vehicle in sight, they requested that Stolen Vehicle Slowdown be initiated. Once the vehicle had been safely slowed to a stop, the suspect then attempted to escape on foot, but was quickly apprehended by officers without incident.
Less than 16 minutes after OnStar was first contacted, Ruiz’ Tahoe was safely recovered.
“While this was the first time that we’ve used the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service, we have used OnStar in several other cases to help locate and recover stolen vehicles. It’s a valuable tool for our agency,” shared Visalia Police Department Sergeant Steven Phillips. “In this case, it helped us not only safely recover a vehicle for a local citizen, but also prevented a dangerous high-speed chase and allowed us to quickly apprehend a suspect. It’s a win for everyone.”
Since launch in October of 2008, OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service has been deployed 38 times in a wide variety of situations, including rental vehicles, thefts from dealers and on stationary vehicles in order to prevent a high-speed chase from potentially starting.
Source: General Motors.