Canton, Mass. — William Reagan, founder of LoJack and inventor of the world’s first commercially available consumer-targeted stolen-vehicle location and recovery system, passed away July 1 at the age of 78.
Reagan patented the LoJack system in 1979 and in 1986 launched it in Massachusetts. The system used a hidden car-mounted transponder and a tracking device operating on a dedicated tracking frequency set aside by the Federal Communications Commission. The tracking device is installed in police cars to track down and recover stolen transponder-equipped cars.
LoJack’s system today operates in 28 states and the District of Columbia and in more than 30 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe and Africa. More than 1,800 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. use LoJack tracking computers in their police vehicles, the company said.
Reagan’s system primed the market for vehicle-tracking systems that use technologies such as GPS and cellular to track stolen vehicles and inform authorities or monitoring stations of a car’s location in emergencies.
Reagan, a former Medfield, Mass., police commissioner, founded LoJack, whose name implies the opposite of hijack, in 1986 to keep police officers safe during the pursuit and recovery of stolen vehicles, the company said. Reagan served as the company’s inaugural chairman and CEO. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and served as a patrol plane commander in the U.S. Navy.
“Bill’s invention has saved the lives of numerous police officers and helped uncover larger crimes well beyond vehicle theft,” said Patrick Clancy, VP of LoJack’s internal law enforcement department.