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Stolen, yes. Lost, no!

The value of close cooperation with the authorities and the right use of technology for vehicle security.


Currently, over 9 million vehicles are on the move in Greece, with 50% of the total registered in Attica. Of these, 5,877,759 are passenger cars and 1,782,022 are motorcycles. In recent years, there has been an impressive increase in the number of vehicles in the Greek fleet.


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Specifically, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, in February, 20,206 cars and 4,372 motorcycles were registered for the first time, an increase of 17.3% and 43.6%, respectively, compared to February 2023. Two significant factors contributing to this increase are the retirement of old vehicles and the need to replace stolen vehicles. According to statistics from the Hellenic Police, the number of vehicle theft incidents exceeds 22,000 annually, placing vehicle theft at the top of the list of crimes that occupy the authorities.


Despite the efforts of the Hellenic Police, unfortunately, only 3 out of 10 vehicles are tracked and returned to their owners. According to the “Insurance Market” website, the first few hours after the theft are crucial for tracking the vehicle. Therefore, it is of vital importance for the owner to immediately report the theft to the nearest Police Station and file a complaint against unknown persons, in order to start the investigation.


When there is theft coverage, the owner must immediately inform the insurance company of the incident. In case the vehicle is not recovered, it is required to submit an extensive set of documents, and after a specific period of time set by the insurance company (usually 3 months), the compensation process begins. Compensation is based on the current value of the vehicle and not the original purchase value. Different coverages may provide different maximum compensation amounts. In addition, there is no compensation for personal items that may have been stolen.


How can we avoid these unpleasant situations that not only affect our finances but also our peace of mind and our daily lives? Some good practices recommended by the authorities are proper locking of the vehicle, parking in bright and crowded places, using an alarm, but mainly installing a GPS tracking system. Many insurance companies now require the installation of a tracking system in high-value or high-risk vehicles.


A GPS tracking system provides continuous monitoring on the vehicle's location. However, in the event of theft, the owner, who may be upset and anxious, may ignore the instructions of the authorities and put their own life at risk by searching for the stolen vehicle. We must not overlook the fact that the location and recovery of a stolen vehicle requires the intervention of highly trained professionals who will ensure the immediate and effective coordination of the competent authorities.


G4S Telematix offers integrated solutions for the tracking and protection of cars and motorcycles with the GPS Tracker WithU Car and WithU Moto services, which are connected 24/7 to the G4S Secure Operations Center. An active GPS tracking system allows the exact location of vehicles to be monitored in real time. It provides notifications for specific events, such as unauthorized driver use, alarm activation, GSM jamming, power supply cut, and towing.


These notifications are sent both to the vehicle owner and to the Secure Operations Center. The immediate activation of the Secure Operations Center allows for a quick response, increasing the prospect of a positive outcome. Through continuous monitoring, the security and protection of the vehicle and its owner are ensured. In case of an emergency, the Secure Operations Center manages the incident from the moment of notification until the vehicle is recovered.


During our conversation with the managers of the G4S Secure Operations Center, we were informed about some recent incidents. In February, a high-value motorcycle was stolen in the heart of Piraeus, in an area that mainly houses corporate offices, and this happened at a highly unexpected time, at 3:00 p.m. Thanks to the immediate cooperation of the Secure Operations Center with the Hellenic Police, the vehicle was found within 20 minutes, although it was hidden and covered. A similar incident also occurred in February in Agios Ioannis Rentis, when the Secure Operations Center received a notification for unauthorized movement of a vehicle. After the theft of the motorcycle was confirmed, thanks to the experienced handling of the operators, the vehicle was tracked within a few hours and returned to the owner.


In addition to thefts, there is another disturbing phenomenon where company executives are misusing luxury rented company cars for personal gain. The G4S Secure Operations Center encountered such an incident in September 2023. After a car rental company filed complaint at a police station in the Northern Suburbs against its client for embezzlement, the police teamed up and worked closely with the Secure Operations Center, in order to track him. Utilizing the continuous and detailed updates on the vehicle's precise location and speed, they successfully immobilized and arrested the driver.


Of course, there are also humorous incidents where panicked owners seek help from the Secure Operations Center, only to discover that they have simply forgotten where they parked.


In any case, the proper and calm handling of emergencies by experienced professionals is the key to success. The timely activation of the G4S Secure Operations Center, as well as the long-standing and close cooperation with the Hellenic Police, is crucial for the positive outcome of an incident. The Secure Operations Center is by the drivers’ side around the clock, every day of the year, ensuring that they always feel safe, on every journey.

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