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Police forced to pay for car tracking app to find abducted toddler – report

A kidnapping investigation in Illinois was delayed after police were forced to pay – and wait – for Volkswagen’s vehicle tracking service to reactivate.

Police investigating an alleged child abduction in Illinois were forced to pay Volkswagen before being given access to the company’s car tracking service.

According to Chicago Sun Times (via Carscoops), Lake County Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli had to wait 30 minutes after paying a $US150 fee ($AU223), to reactivate the Volkswagen Car-Net application. 

The Car-Net app links a vehicle to a smartphone, enabling owners to access security features and navigational tools. In this case, the app could have provided the Deputy Chief with the GPS location of the stolen car, which was believed to have a kidnapped toddler inside. 

The owner of the vehicle had previously downloaded the application, but didn’t continue the subscription after the trial period.

When Deputy Chief Covelli contacted Car-Net to gain access to the time-sensitive information, he was instead forced to wait while the reactivation fee was processed. 

By the time the police department had located a credit card and was waiting for the service to be reactivated, the child had been located safely. 

While the two-year-old was found unharmed, the pregnant mother was taken to hospital for treatment. The incident occurred following an alleged hijacking outside their home.

Volkswagen made a statement acknowledging the incident, stating that it takes “the safety and security of its customers very seriously.” 

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their family. We are addressing the situation with the parties involved.”

Emma has been on our television screens for over a decade. Most of her time in the industry has been spent at racetracks reporting at major motorsport events in Australia – from TCR and Superbikes to Porsche Sprint Challenge and Supercars. Emma has also hosted various MotoGP and F1 events interviewing the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Jack Miller. Having previously presented on an automotive show, she made her move to the Drive family in 2020.
Fiercely proud of her Italian heritage, Emma is a coffee loving, stylish-black wearing resident of Melbourne.

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