Stolen Satellite Radio? Sirius will reactivate - Orbitcast

Stolen Satellite Radio? Sirius will reactivate

| 21 Comments

Sirius SportsterThe sleuths over at Boston's WBZ have learned that Sirius Satellite Radio doesn't "seem to care if your unit is stolen."

WBZ did a test to see what would happen if they reported a Sirius receiver stolen, and then had a separate person try to reactivate it a couple days later. Apparently they pulled it off without a hitch. 

Brookline Police officer Tom Shea, who runs juststolen.net (a free website to help track and recover stolen property) explains, "we have learned that Sirius will reactivate those stolen radios."

The reason? Officer Shea recalls his conversation with Sirius: "She told me that they delete all the old records, and when I expressed my concern that law enforcement could very easily identify the person that is in custody of a stolen radio, they don't care."

A Sirius Satellite Radio spokesperson acknowledged that when someone calls to report a radio stolen, they close that account. But they don't flag the receiver as stolen because an innocent person could have bought it on EBay and they don't want to victimize that new customer.

Sirius admits they only mark a radio as stolen if a customer goes through a two step process: First, the customer must report it to the police. Second, the police have to subpoena the company's records.

(Ahh, the Internets: the perfect medium to teach a would-be thief how to pull a profit.)

[WBZ via Digg

21 Comments


Never thought about this...guess you better not lose your XM/Sirius radio. WOnder what XM has to say about this and how they handle it?

Sirius must rely on the fact that the units weigh so much as a deterrent to stealing them.

Wonder if the same thing happens at XM, or if they put that unit on a hot sheet, much like cellphone companies do?

I have to support Sirius on this... who says its stolen? Could the subscriber mearly have left it on the train? Fell out of their pocket? then report it "stolen"? The person finding such a receiver would not know who's it is. However.. the records being deleated is a problem.

I'd like to see them try it at XM as well... I've heard that XM will indeed flag it as stolen and not allow a new "owner" to re-activate and I've read people who've encountered this--even from eBay--and apparently XM offers them a discounted radio offer instead.

I think it still needs a police report, though.

"an innocent person could have bought it on EBay and they don't want to victimize that new customer."

How about at least letting that person know it was reported stolen, so they could then pass on the seller's info, and the thief could be caught? Even if the person ended up having the radio confiscated, SIRI could give them a new radio (and earn some favor with customers).

This bothers me because I am a big Sirius fan. Lately, its seems that Sirius will do anything for a sub even if its un-ethical. I too am an investor and it makes me worry that this mind-set will carry over into thier bookkeeping...

Boo Hoo, go check your diaper. Now why would Sirius worry about your stolen radio when it's obvious you didn't being you allowed it get stolen in the first place. It's not Sirius' fault that you can't keep your stuff locked up. Just man-up and go buy a new radio and don't allow someone to take it away from you next time.

My car was stolen a couple years ago and I reported it to XM. When my car was recovered the tuner was still in it but I had already replaced it.

I wonder what would happen if I tried to reactivate the one that was reported.

"poopboy", the original owner can call XM to tell them the unit was recovered and XM will allow them, and only them, to reactivate the unit.

Who cares? I mean, really, how many people are willing to steal a Sirius radio and then pay $12.95 a month for it? Wouldn't they just buy a radio in the first place?

And if not, who cares? Why is this Sirius' fault? Its not their job to police the radios.

We don't care, but it seems Sirius doesn't care (about you, the subscriber) either..
Its always nice when a service provider supports their customers first..

But I guess in Sirius' case, its all about the money!!

(I am seriously thinking about switching to XM, at least they have some principles...)

TVGenius. Ebay doesn't care. But then again being that the buyer got ripped off they might do something as they really are not in the business of protecting both sides of a transaction just the one side. More often than not if a false bid is received or non payment, tuff relist your item and pay the fees again.

I'm amazed at the number of people supporting Sirius about this. Granted, I can't think of any Sirius unit worth stealing, but this makes it known that stolen units can be resold. Thieves will soon know that only the sirius units are profitable.

When I worked for Sirius, what we did with people who called in reporting their stolen radios was to immediately deactivate the radio from their account and close the subscription (with a note of what to do in case the customer does either recover the radio or buys a new one to continue the subscription), then open up a new account with the stolen radios ESN number, name the account "STOLEN RADIO", include the victim's address and phone number in the account, NOT activate the radio, and then if a customer called in to activate that ESN number, gather their information, ask them where they bought it, and then pass it along to our supervisors who would then contact the authorities closest to the stealer. I myself was able to help at least three people recover their stolen Sirius radio, and even help a Radio Shack recover a radio that was stolen straight out of the box that had been activated earlier that day from someone they said was a notorious local thief.

"Sirius must rely on the fact that the units weigh so much as a deterrent to stealing them.

Wonder if the same thing happens at XM, or if they put that unit on a hot sheet, much like cellphone companies do?

Posted by: WTF | February 5, 2007 09:56 AM"

So cute! You brought out that old Sirius has heavier units joke again...problem is Sirius has much lighter (and prefered by customers) units than XM for over a year now. Guess that joke is over?


"I'd like to see them try it at XM as well... I've heard that XM will indeed flag it as stolen and not allow a new "owner" to re-activate and I've read people who've encountered this--even from eBay--and apparently XM offers them a discounted radio offer instead.

I think it still needs a police report, though.

Posted by: xzi | February 5, 2007 10:27 AM"

XM may flag a stolen unit, problem is they are moving everything to the mini-tuner so the sub is on that thing, not the unit. SO, anyone can steal a persons XM unit and buy a $30 mini-tuner and have XM.


whats the big deal? my s50 got stolen and i reported it but didn't get a police report. sirius didn't cancel my account because there was more than one radio on it. they were concerned about my issue and helped all they could, but what do you people want from them? if you don't have a police report than anyone can say their shit is stolen. this article didn't mention if a police report was filed.

Most of you guys here are missing the point. If the radio is actually stolen (not some fool faking it) then it gives the theives an INCENTIVE to steal them, because they won't get caught and they incur no penalty.

So in a sense, Sirius is inviting people to steal radios. How does this help Sirius and/or the consumer who had their radio stolen?

HEY RYAN...

FaFaFluFly made a great point, so i checked the report from the wbztv website and found this...

"We decided to find out for ourselves. I activated a radio and then reported it stolen to Sirius the next day. Four days later, Officer Shea called Sirius to register the unit that could have flagged as stolen. Service was restored.

Sirius says that's because our $80 unit wasn't reported to a police department, and that's the only way they might get involved. Officer Shea thinks Sirius could do more. He says "if this company would stop reactivating these radios, these people that come out to their cars after work, or they leave their house in the morning, chances are their windows will not smashed."

They did this a second time...AND STILL DIDN'T REPORT IT TO THE POLICE!!!

What did they not understand about the statement given by Sirius? You have something stolen you need to report it. It is that way with ANY product out there. If the company gives you one without the police report then you are just lucky, but legally there is nothing that can be done if you don't even report it to the police!

HA! That just shows how despperte they are for subs!

I had my window smashed out to get my sat radio which was when they had great FM transmitters. Sirius gave me a junk radio with a horrible FM transmitter as a replacment and a thief made off with my more expensive radio and Sirius will just activate for them. How nice. The real reason is because intead of having one costomer, they now have two. Me and the theif (or purchaser of stolen radio). Class Action?

Just went through this... Someone stole my Blaupunkt America head unit so I called Sirius and they said they wouldn't 'brick' the radio because they are not sure who would be reactivating it!

Well I told them the THIEF would be reactivating it. or the person who received STOLEN PROPERTY would be reactivating it. It didn't matter if the person activating it bought it from ebay or a pawn shop or where ever, the fact is you had to ask for MY password/account number/address/first/last name and all manner of personal information to prove to YOU that *I* owned that head unit so that you could terminate the ESN from my account and add the new ESN from the new head unit I had to buy to replace the STOLEN unit. This same information will be available from the 'NEW OWNER' of my radio. If you don't want to give it to the Police, then BAN/BRICK/NEVER ACTIVATE that ESN.

You don't have to get the police involved, you don't have to track the customer, you don't have to do any work other than FLAG THE ESN AS STOLEN AND NEVER LET IT BE ACTIVATED AGAIN.

BRICK the unit and I would be happy.

but no.. now I know all those lovely satellite radios that people suction cup to their windshields are now mine if I want them. No questions asked. No fear of police, no fear that it won't activate.

Do you really think the Police care about your radio? Even though Sirius has/will have ALL the information on the new 'owner'

Sadly, I have the lifetime account, so there are no monthly charges. The radio part is OK, but the service leaves me lacking...

Gotta stay with Sirius, soon they will be both XM and Sirius and that wonderful policy of Bricking units by XM will be no more.

sKurt