Vendors join wireless forces to fight car theft

In an attempt to fight soaring numbers of car hijack cases in Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless Ltd., a service provider based in Harare, is joining forces with a local IT company to create a wireless device that will frustrate would-be criminals.

Econet and Cellstop, the local IT vendor, are testing a wireless device that would automatically notify vehicle owners if someone tries to steal their car. The device also would immobilize a vehicle if a thief tries to steal it by automatically blocking the flow of fuel to the engine.

The antitheft device would work as part of a system that would further contact an emergency services agency, like the local police, said David Dzumbira, a brand manager at Econet.

The system would use the Cellstop Operations Center's satellite-based system detection to track the affected car. That system also could be used to help owners find cars that actually are stolen, according to the companies.

Econet Wireless is the cellular division of Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd.