KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali had a frightening experience Friday morning.
The 34-year-old tweeted just before 5 a.m. that his Mercedes ML 350, an SUV, was stolen from the Westport area. Hali did not say specifically where his vehicle was when it was stolen.
The linebacker was able to use the ‘Mbrace‘ technology Mercedes vehicles come equipped with to eventually track it down. He tweeted around 5:48 a.m. that it had been found in Warrensburg.
“You want to recover the car as quickly as possible because you want to do it before it’s been pigged out or trashed or before it’s damaged or involved in a high speed pursuit," Mercedes Customer Experience Manager Kris Nielsen said.
You don't have to drive a luxury vehicle to enjoy the benefits of similar vehicle recovery technology. Perhaps the best known is General Motors On-Star.
But Dave Brucker, who started the community group Stolen KC more than three years ago after being a victim of auto theft, said thieves realize factory-installed systems often lapse when drivers opt not to pay subscriber fees.
“I know the minute the ignition, the motor is running on any of my cars," Brucker said.
He protects his own vehicles with after-market GPS tracking devices that can be placed on any vehicle. They are either web- or app-based and usually run between $10 and $20 per month.
Brucker said the biggest mistake people make is thinking they can subscribe to manufacturer-installed services after their car has been stolen.
Staff at Mercedes-Benz are happy Hali has his vehicle back thanks to technology now being installed in more and more cars.
“Recovering it really quickly is so important for people to have that peace of mind for people who really love their car," Nielsen said.