Car Theft Up
This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol in Mendocino but it applies to other areas:
The Ukiah Area is experiencing a raise in vehicle thefts. The California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Area, would like to remind residence that vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity. Do not make it easy for thieves. Simple deterrents such as parking in a secure or highly visible location, locking vehicle doors, or using an alarm system can make all the difference. Recently, Ukiah Area law enforcement has noticed a pattern of unattended running vehicles being taken. Do not leave your car running unattended even just for a minute. That’s all the time needed for a thief to steal your vehicle. Also, report suspicious activity to law enforcement. By remaining vigilant, you increase the odds of not becoming a victim.
A little bit of prevention can go a long way, but when a vehicle is stolen, the tools we have available now are helping to catch thieves and return stolen vehicles to their rightful owners. The California Highway Patrol Ukiah Area has recently acquired a License Plate Recognition (LPR) system and is deploying it regularly. LPR’s work as an electronic “hot sheet” of sorts. The license plate numbers of stolen vehicles are stored in a data base. The LPR scans the license plates and alerts an officer when it scans the license plate of a stolen vehicle. The CHP has deployed License Plate Recognition technology statewide since 2005, beginning with a test project in 2003. The CHP is seeing very positive results as far as recoveries of stolen vehicles and arrests of vehicle theft suspects.
The California Highway Patrol has a variety of other means it uses to thwart thieves, such as participation in countywide task forces and the use of technology like LPR and Bait cars. However, law enforcement can’t do it alone. We need the public’s help to continue to reduce the number of vehicles stolen in California every year.
– In 2014, vehicle thefts increased by 6.8 percent statewide.
– On average, a vehicle is stolen every 3 minutes in California.
– In 2014, there were 159,271 vehicles reported stolen in California with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. (This figure is based on the average replacement value established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.)
– In 2014, approximately 89.6 percent of the vehicles stolen in California were successfully recovered, representing 142,785 recovered vehicles.
– The condition of the recovered statewide vehicles varies: the majority, or 65 percent, of the vehicles recovered were intact and in drivable condition; 3.6 percent were missing major components; 12.4 percent were stripped of minor parts; and 18.9 percent were intentionally burned and/or wrecked