Tech foils a car thief

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board March 11, 2013 10:55 am

Baker City Herald Editorial Board

It’s a sad era for car thieves.

Which makes it a happier, and safer, one for the rest of us.

Were it not for OnStar, a General Motors technology, James Reedy, who’s accused of driving a new, $61,000 Chevrolet Camaro out of the Baker Garage showroom Wednesday morning, might have gotten away it.

OnStar, which is optional equipment on GM vehicles, is a GPS navigation system and more — drivers can also call an OnStar official, from their car, to get information about nearby restaurants, for instance.

One of its lesser-known abilities, though, was demonstrated as Reedy tried to elude police in the Camaro.

OnStar can also foil thieves by retarding the car’s engine. In the case of the Camaro, it wouldn’t exceed 30 mph, which not only prevented a high-speed chase that could have endangered lots of travelers on I-84, but also apparently convinced Reedy to pull over and give up.

Which is precisely how these situations should be resolved.