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Black box helps builder get stolen van back in four hours

18 Feb 2014 at 14:48

When builder Jarek Luszcz had the van he had only bought two months ago stolen from outside his house in broad daylight on Tuesday 11 February he feared he might never see it again.

Luckily, Jarek, who runs J.L. Building Construction in Gravesend, Kent, had technology on his side as he had recently fitted RAC Telematics ‘black boxes’ to all of his vans.

He went inside, turned on his computer and logged into the RAC portal to see the Vauxhall Vivaro van’s dot on the map 30 miles away in Sittingbourne. He called the police and asked them to liaise with the RAC to track the vehicle down.

And, just four hours after the van was reported stolen, the police had located it in Victoria Road, Sittingbourne, in the exact place the RAC telematics box had tracked it to. In fact, police missed the vehicle the first time around because the number plates had been changed, but the RAC team were able to use the telematics device to direct officers to within three metres of the vehicle’s actual location. The police were then able to use the van’s unique vehicle identification number to confirm that it was Jarek’s.

Jarek, who employs nine builders, said: “I was gutted when I realised the van had been stolen from outside my house. It had only been parked there for 45 minutes over lunchtime when it was taken. At first I thought it was a typical builder’s joke, but I soon realised it wasn’t.

“I hadn’t even had the van long enough to put my company name on it. I’ve never had a vehicle stolen before so it was really upsetting, but I quickly realised I could use the telematics box’s tracking feature to find it. Once I called the police and asked them to work with the RAC I knew I had a great chance of getting it back.”

RAC Telematics is currently only available to business customers, but the consumer technology is to be launched later this month.

RAC Insurance director Kerry Michael said: “Telematics is the latest innovation in vehicle tracking and puts business owners in control of managing vehicles and their drivers, something which has been very much borne out in this case. It also gives businesses a competitive edge as it is one of the most affordable telematics solutions on the market.”

RAC Telematics boxes, which are quick and easy to install, can provide round the clock tracking for all business vehicles, showing the routes they take and how they were driven. All the information recorded can be accessed through a web-based portal.

Companies that have installed the devices often find they promote positive driver behaviour and reduce business risks. In addition, they can lead to more fuel efficient driving, saving money on petrol and diesel costs as well as more affordable insurance premiums.

For more information on RAC Telematics visit: www.rac.co.uk/business/fleet-telematics.

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

RAC@ brayleino.co.uk / 0117 964 6664
Simon Williams: 0161 452 4242 / 07725 822107 / simon.williams@rac.co.uk

Notes to Editors

About RAC

With around seven million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level, including advancing levels of road safety, supporting the needs of young drivers and voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring. The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring survey, now in its 25th year, provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

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