OnStar and Buffalo Grove Police Recover Stolen Auto and Arrest Driver Near Heavenly Massage

Buffalo Grove police responded about 1:35 p.m. Thursday to the area of Arlington Heights Road and Dundee Road for the report from OnStar that a stolen vehicle was being tracked in the area. Police from Murfreesboro, Tennessee had recently filed a report for the vehicle — a large white SUV, which was reported stationary with the ignition blocked by OnStar. Buffalo Grove police spotted the vehicle parked in the parking lot near Heavenly Massage on Dundee Road. Police then waited from a distance to see if a driver would return to the vehicle.

About 2:00 p.m. a man approached the vehicle and got inside the vehicle. The man was described as a male/white with dark hair, sideburns and wearing a hat and a white T-shirt. The man was arrested without incident and transported in custody to Buffalo Grove Police Department headquarters. The vehicle was towed to a police holding area for confirmation and notification of the owner.

Arlington Heights police assisted on the incident.

OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems throughout the United States, Canada and China. OnStar services are only available currently on vehicles manufactured by General Motors and Saab Automobile. OnStar relies on CDMA mobile phone voice and data communication, primarily from Verizon Wireless in the United States. All OnStar-equipped vehicles have Stolen Vehicle Tracking, which can provide the police with the vehicle’s exact location, speed and direction of movement.

Starting 2009, General Motors began equipping about 1.7 million of new vehicles with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, which allows OnStar to remotely slow down the stolen vehicle. An OnStar operator informs the driver inside the stolen vehicle that the car is about to stop. Brakes and steering still function. The service is expected to help reduce the risk of property damage, serious injuries or fatalities resulting from high-speed pursuits of stolen vehicles. Customers may opt out of Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. The first successful use of Stolen Vehicle Slowdown occurred in October 2009 in Visalia, California when a stolen Chevrolet Tahoe was recovered and the offender was apprehended about 16 minutes after an armed carjacking.

Also in 2009, General Motors began equipping some new vehicles with Remote Ignition Block, which allows OnStar to remotely block the ignition after the vehicle is shut off. The vehicle cannot be restarted until an OnStar operator releases the block on the ignition.

All Stolen Vehicle Assistance services (Stolen Vehicle Tracking, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and Remote Ignition Block) can be requested by the OnStar subscriber, but OnStar will not activate the actual services that interfere with motion of the vehicle until confirmation orders are requested by the police. Ignition block may be activated before police confirmation at the located sight, if the police department that takes the report of the stolen vehicle confirms with OnStar that the vehicle is stolen.

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