Stolen Vehicle Assistance* Lends a Hand to Local Law Enforcement

One grateful motorist and six accused car thieves recently learned firsthand how OnStar can help Members and law enforcement recover stolen vehicles.

The incident, which took place in Cleveland earlier this year, began when a man left his OnStar-equipped 2015 Buick LaCrosse running at a gas station. There, a teenager jumped into the driver’s seat with friends in tow and sped away. After law enforcement officers confirmed the vehicle was stolen, an OnStar Advisor used GPS technology to obtain its location and provided it to Cleveland PD. Once officers confirmed sight of the vehicle, the Advisor utilized Stolen Vehicle Slowdown to reduce the vehicle’s speed and allow police to arrest the suspect and his five cohorts without incident.

It marked another instance of OnStar working with Cleveland-area police departments to implement its Stolen Vehicle Assistance* technologies in tracking vehicle thefts and helping to safely secure arrests. In 2019, OnStar participated in approximately 18,000 Stolen Vehicle Assistance incidents to aid law enforcement and vehicle owners in the U.S. and Canada.

Video source: ABC News 5 Cleveland

The Process

When an OnStar Member or first responder initially contacts OnStar to report a stolen vehicle, the Advisor first verifies that the vehicle was reported stolen with law enforcement. Once confirmed, OnStar can track stolen vehicles via GPS and aerial imagery, and pass any resulting information to authorities. OnStar can even initiate a Remote Ignition Block* — preventing the vehicle from being restarted once the engine has been turned off.

If the vehicle is in motion, an Advisor can begin the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown* by flashing the hazard lights of the stolen vehicle to confirm connectivity for officers following the vehicle and ensure they have the vehicle in sight. Officers must confirm with OnStar that conditions are appropriate before an Advisor can send the signal that reduces engine power to idle speed — all while steering and braking functions are maintained.

To learn more about Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, visit




*Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown® and Remote Engine Block™ services require the OnStar Member to have a paid plan, working electrical system, cell reception, GOS signal, armed GM factory-installed theft-deterrent system, contact method on file and enrollment to receive alerts. Additional messaging and data rates may apply. Services are intended to assist with vehicle recovery and do not prevent theft or protect against damage or loss. See for details and limitations.