Richard Espinoza; Kansas City Star February 02, 2001, Friday, Final Edition Copyright 2001 News World Communications, Inc. The Washington Times February 02, 2001, Friday, Final Edition
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - Things were looking good for four carjackers after they stole a sport utility vehicle and a mess of Gates barbecue Sunday evening.
They had a tasty, hot dinner to enjoy with the Super Bowl and were cruising in a Chevrolet Tahoe loaded with impressive options.
Police were especially impressed by the OnStar option. They said it had tracked the Tahoe from the Leawood, Kan., Gates Bar-B-Q to a home in Kansas City, Mo.
OnStar can broadcast a vehicle's location with an onboard Global-Positioning System unit and a cellular device. Owners also can use it to have their doors unlocked if they leave their keys in the car, and it can diagnose engine trouble as they drive. The system has tracked more than 500 stolen vehicles for police since its release in 1997, a company spokeswoman said.
A Leawood man was loading barbecue into his Tahoe at 6:15 p.m. when he turned and found himself facing a carjacker's gun, police said. He handed over his keys, gave up his dinner and went back into the restaurant as the robber and three persons drove off.
The Leawood man called OnStar, and an operator soon was telling police where to find the vehicle.
Leawood and Kansas City officers caught up with the Tahoe as the suspects backed it into a driveway. They were arrested shortly after they carried the barbecue into the house.
Four young men - two 19-year-olds, a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old - were being held in Kansas City while Johnson County prosecutors reviewed police reports.