Former police officer hopes he will curb the Top Kontrol device he invented

Former police officer hopes he will curb the Top Kontrol device he invented

MINNEAPOLIS — A former police officer believes he can help prevent car thefts across the country.

Kao Lee invented a device called Top Kontrol. He said it can prevent theft while protecting car owners.

“So far, so good. It’s built for confidence and convenience,” Lee said.

It is how his invention describes, Top Control, an anti-theft and anti-carjacking device. With the help of his business partner Ken Salway, they are eager to show car owners how it works.

“What it does in the process of a carjacking is that it shuts down the car,” Salway said.

Salway said that if the doors open while the car is moving, the Top Kontrol device assumes a carjacking is taking place.

The thief can drive the vehicle for about 15 seconds before it shuts down and sounds an alarm. Those 15 seconds are meant to create space between the victim and the thief.

“When you get a carjacking nine times out of ten there’s a gun involved, so you don’t want them to be anywhere near you when they get in the car and leave,” says Salway.

Opening your door while your vehicle is moving will allow you to turn off the device before it goes off. This is done by pressing a switch in the vehicle, a switch that is hidden so only the driver knows where he is.

“I think technology has the answer to a lot of this,” said Elliot Faust, a detective with Brooklyn Park Police.

Faust said he is encouraged by technology like this, and hopes car owners will explore options that work for them.

“Safety is number one on people’s minds these days, and people don’t want to think about their car driving away without them being in it,” Faust said.

Makers said Top Kontrol also works for ATVs and snowmobiles. It costs just under $450.