In today’s world, brazen thievery threatens us every day. Whether it is your kid’s backpack, your briefcase, laptop or your prized muscle car, theft is on the rise. But how do you protect your belongings from these low-down dirty criminals? A couple of enterprising companies may have the answer, GPS.
While GPS tracking devices such as Lowjack have been around for quite a while, they are expensive and must be installed in the vehicle. There are alternatives that allow you to purchase a single device that remains portable, it can be transferred from one vehicle to another, and some devices are even useable in briefcases, backpacks and laptop cases. Using what is classified as A-GPS or Asssisted GPS, these new devices use both satellite-based and cellular-based tracking functions.
GPS Snitch- this device is mainly designed for automotive use. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, the Snitch is easily concealed under a seat, in the glove box or under the dash.
The GPS-Snitch device has unique alarm feature, which allows you to set the device, arm it and if the vehicle is moved, the tacking center sends you a text or email. This function is extremely useful for local car shows, cruise nights or other outings where you might leave the vehicle unattended. The Snitch can be had for $299 direct from the manufacturer.
Zoombak- This unit is much smaller than the GPS snitch. About the size of 20-stick pack of gum, the Zoombak is easily concealed by itself or in the non-descript zipper pouch. Also rechargeable, the Zoombak vehicle pack comes with a wall charger and a car charger, so leaving it the vehicle is even easier. The Zoombak does not have the alarm feature like the Snitch, but it is also much smaller and a little less expensive at $249 MSRP.
Though the placement may hinder the pin-point accuracy (under the seat yielded a one-block difference in position in our tests), the results are pretty impressive. With the track feature of the subscription service (required by both, starting at $14.99\month for the Snitch, and 9.99\month for the Zoombak), we were able to track our car to within a few feet, easily good enough for the police to find your car and the thief that took it. You can also use the tracking functions to keep tabs on Junior while out for the prom, even minding his speed. You can even create safety zones, a software-based boundary that, when crossed, will send out an alert, so you know if the vehicle has traveled outside the boundary.
Both of these portable devices, use a built-in rechargeable battery that last about 5 hours. If you want\need to leave the device in you can hardwire the plug to the car, letting the unit draw its power from the vehicle. You can always buy plug pigtails from the local electronics parts store for multiple cars. The Zoombak comes with the car charger, while the Snitch car charger is an added accessory.
With inexpensive options like these, you can easily give yourself some satisfaction in knowing that if your ride is stolen, you can get it back, and put the person responsible in prison.