CHP Reports Spike in Humboldt County Vehicle Thefts

CHP Press Release:

Recently, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has seen a … spike in vehicle theft within the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County.  To date for 2014, the CHP has taken a total of 53 stolen vehicle reports, which is a significant increase from this time last year.  A total of 163 vehicle theft reports were taken by the CHP Humboldt Area in 2013 compared to 131 reports taken in 2012.

The Honda Accord ranks as the number one vehicle stolen out of Humboldt County and the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry are ranked at number two and three respectively.  Since 1984, Toyota is ranked as the most frequently stolen pickup truck.  With high resale value, there is an abundance of Hondas and Toyotas on the road and consumer demand is high.  Additionally, their parts are interchangeable with similar models from year-to-year.

A significant number of vehicles stolen out of Humboldt County are taken with their very own ignition key.  This is often the result of unsuspecting victims leaving their vehicles running while unattended or leaving a spare key in the vehicle.  Pre-1999 Honda and Toyota passenger cars, along with Toyota trucks, are being stolen with a similar worn key due to their worn ignition switches.  A small percentage of vehicles stolen are due to the steering column being broken to the point where the ignition can be started.  Approximately 85% of vehicles stolen out of Humboldt County are recovered.

The CHP offers the following tips to help combat auto theft in Humboldt County: If you own a pre-1999 Honda or Toyota vehicle, or find your ignition switch is worn and loose on any vehicle, consider replacing the old ignition switch.  Remove all property of perceived value from the interior of your vehicle that could be seen from the outside.  Remove all hidden keys from your vehicle.  Consider adding a motion light in the area the vehicle is parked.

Another trend of auto theft is through residential burglaries.  Most of us have the habit of walking into our home and hanging our keys on a rack, exposed to those who want to take our vehicles.  Change the location where you store your keys and keep them out of sight.  Always lock your doors and take your keys with you.  The more cautious we become, the less likely we are to become victims.

The CHP advises all Humboldt County residents to report suspicious activity by dialing 9-1-1 for emergencies, or by dialing their local public safety dispatch center for all non-emergencies.


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