Originally Posted by savahn
I havent had any first hand experience with the captor system. Could you give us some of the important bits?
And the point of a GPS unit is that you will know roughly the last place they stopped. This hopefully reduces the time to locate the car. I do acknowledge the weakness of driving into tunnels to remove the antennae. The Cobra system uses a discrete antennae.
I don't have first hand experience on Captor. I'm shopping around for a car security system and had been doing a lot of inquiries, which included asking some direct questions with the ppl who sells the products.
Captor is one of the few tracking systems approved by insurers, so that's a selling point for them if you believe all their PR.
You can get their standard package which is Captor-RF (radio frequency tracking) and for a small fee you can also update to Captor RF/GPS which gives you the added advantage of GPS monitoring.
My opinion is that tracking should still be seen as a second line of security, only to be used when your first line of defence has failed. I consider things such as immobilizers, cut-off switches, security tint, engine locks, clutch/steering/gear locks as first line security. Ideally, you want to stop the thief right there and then, not go chasing after him with tracking software after he drove off with the car.
And this is why I have an issue with Captor. Their package comes with an immobilizer but it's only activated by their control centre and they won't do it until they track down your car and confirm it visually. That sort of defeats the whole idea of having an immobilizer to stop a thief early. It's like the tail wagging the dog, instead of the other way round and it makes me question whether they are more keen to sell their tracking subscription services rather than nipping the problem early with a more aggressive immobilizer policy.
Cobra's services looks similar to Captor, but at least they appear to offer a proper use of the immobilizer. My question here is whether their GSM is similar to Captor's RF (able to track through obtacles) because you really cannot rely on GPS alone. GPS systems looks good but have very serious weaknesses which I already mentioned.
Both Cobra and Captor have 'backup reinforcement' (so that's not really an extra selling point for any one of them). Tracking teams are not in a position to apprehend directly. They are not law enforcers. The is the job of the police.
CSL is correct that one of the best investments you can make is to custom fabricate your own security device, such as that cut-off switch. I suspect most car theft syndicates would have made a proper study of all the branded systems out there, so a custom fabricated third party system is always a good idea. It does not need to be sophisticated as long as it makes it difficult and time-consuming for someone to steal the car. Car thieves are always operating under time-constraint so the longer they are delayed the less likely they want to steal your vehicle.