ATLANTA, Georgia (Atlanta News First) – An Atlanta-based company may soon cause a nationwide stir with its strategy for curbing car thefts and burglaries.
In the 30 years that Beth Radtke has called Atlanta home, she said she and her neighbors have had their fair share of car break-ins.
“I feel like we’re constantly vulnerable to that type of crime,” Radke said. “It’s a violation.”
Data from the Atlanta Police Department shows that car break-ins have decreased by 3% so far. However, there has been an astonishing 66% increase in vehicle thefts.
“For many people, their car is their most prized possession,” said David Moeller, whose vehicle has been the target of thieves at least three times.
Moeller is the founder and CEO of Keep Technologies. He believes he has a solution to deter future thieves. The Georgia Tech graduate mechanical engineer and his team have spent the past five years working on a device they call a funnel.
“It’s essentially a cellphone without a screen attached to your cup holder,” Moeller said.
The technology, described by some as the Ring doorbell for vehicles, is equipped with sensors, cameras, GPS and radar and locks into the vehicle’s cupholder. It arms and disarms automatically and is controlled by key fob or phone.
If anyone other than the owner of the vehicle peeps inside, the keep sounds an alarm and captures the person’s picture. If they break in, a siren sounds and sends a video recording directly to the vehicle owner’s phone.
“Then you can notify the police and take action,” Moeller said.
Moeller said the goal is to provide peace of mind to drivers.
“We do not believe in the mindset of blaming the victim,” he said. “If you leave something in your car, it’s your car. You should not leave it blank. This is not a public bus.”
Georgia is one of the top 10 states with the highest rates of vehicle theft. Last year, more than 26,000 cars were stolen in the Peach State.
The Keep, which is powered by an internal battery and the vehicle’s OBD port, has been in beta testing since last year. It is expected to hit the market in September.
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