News Stories From Around The Country on Auto Theft

Exciting News About GPS Tracking of Vehicles

In the UK a car is stolen every 6 minutes, head over the pond and it only gets worse, with one car being stolen every 26 seconds!! With statistics like this you’d be mad not to try and protect yourself from car theft, but what exactly can you do to stop opportunists from stealing your car?

With criminals getting more and more inventive it’s up to us to foil their plans and GPS Tracking Systemsare a great way to do just that. Reports have shown that since GPS Tracking became available, car theft has decreased significantly; in some American states police forces have reported a massive 78% reduction in the amount of reported car thefts. However, if you are lucky enough to live in California then you have even more reason to protect yourself from car theft, data captured by the National Insurance Crime Bureau show that 8 of the top 10 areas with the highest rate of car theft are in California. Although a slightly less sunny climate, Chislehurst, Bromley is Britain’s number one hotspot for car theft, according to Money Supermarket.

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Mentor OH Police crack Auto Theft Ring

Mentor Police helped crack an auto theft ring that was stealing vehicles from Lake, Summit and Cuyahoga counties, police said.

The ring seemed to specialize in seasonal equipment, Mentor Police Lt. Tom Powers said.

“It looks like this these are the same guys who were taking snow plows and four-by-fours in the winter. In the summer time, they took motorcycles, trailers and landscaping equipment,” Powers said.

Police departments from Mentor, Solon, Twinsburg, Willoughby, Wickliffe and Bedford, as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Cleveland FBI office have been tracking suspects in the ring for the last two weeks, Powers said.

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Update on Tulsa Tragedy

TULSA Police have arrested a second suspect who they say was involved in a deadly car theft on Friday.

Officers say Brandon James Dalton Maxwell, 18, was arrested without incident around 12:30 a.m. Sunday near the 5600 block of West Skelly Drive.

Maxwell faces charges for second-degree murder, leaving the scene of an accident and auto theft.

Police say Avonna Olsen, 45, was killed in the northwest Tulsa car theft near 43rd West Avenue.

Olson went outside to start her 2000 Dodge Caravan to allow it to warm up, then returned to her home to finish getting ready, police say.

A short time later she and her husband heard the car doors shut.

Police say Olson ran outside, attempting to stop the suspects from taking the vehicle. She either climbed onto the hood or the driver’s door.

As the suspects drove away, Olson fell off the vehicle and was dragged underneath.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A first suspect, 19-year-old Destin Rodriguez, was arrested around 10:30 a.m Friday for second-degree murder and automobile larceny, according to OSCN.

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Auto Theft Tragedy In Tulsa

Tulsa Police have charged two men they say are involved in an auto theft that resulted in the death of a Tulsa woman early Friday morning.

Destin Rodriguez was arrested at about 10:30 a.m. and is being held on charges of second-degree murder and larceny of an automobile. Police say Rodriguez is not the primary suspect in the case, but may be a material witness.

The primary suspect is 18-year-old Brandon Maxwell.  Maxwell is still at large. He, too is charged with second-degree murder and larceny of an automobile and is also charged with leaving the scene of a fatality accident.

Maxwell is described as white male, about 5’11” and 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He could be driving a 1985 white Chevy pickup truck with Oklahoma license plate 235-BNS.

The incident happened at about 5:30 a.m. Friday morning in a neighborhood near 3rd Street and 43rd West Avenue. Police say the victim, Avonna Olson, had left her minivan running outside her home to let it warm up.

At some point, Olson and her husband heard someone get into the vehicle and that’s when Olson went outside to confront the suspects. Police say Olson either tried to climb onto the hood or driver’s door of the vehicle and was driven over as the suspects drove away.

The vehicle was located a short time later abandoned at an apartment complex.

Police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brandon Maxwell to call CrimeStoppers at 918 596- 2677, the Homicide Tip Line at 918 798 8477, or email

Read Full Story at KTUL

Great News Out of British Columbia

If you live in B.C. and own a car, the odds of it not being stolen are stacking up in your favour.

Since 2003, auto theft in British Columbia went down by 71 per cent, with a 20 per cent drop from 2010 to 2011 alone.

ICBC says just eight years ago, they had to deal with 26,000 incidents of car theft. That number has been declining year to year and stood at 7,000 last year.

The Lower Mainland has seen its car theft rate go down by 75 per cent, with 5000 cars getting stolen in 2011 compared to 21,000 incidents of car theft in 2003.

“We’ve actually caught 77 of the 80 most wanted car thieves in that time,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond in a release.

The number of break-ins and theft from cars in B.C. has also dropped by 64 per cent, with 15,000 incidents recorded in 2011.

The new numbers come as the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its “bait car” program.

Over the years, the program has been expanded to include ATV’s, snowmobiles, various watercraft, motorcycles and manufactured trailers.

But lately, commercial vehicle theft has become an ongoing problem, so construction equipment and working commercial vans made the list of new “bait” on B.C. streets.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | Auto theft in B.C. down 71 per cent since 2003


More Shame for Once Proud Met 

Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra may be sentenced on Monday if a judge rejects his motion to withdraw a no-contest plea on charges of grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

Dykstra, 49, is seeking to withdraw his plea but faces up to four years in state prison if it’s not granted. Dykstra initially pleaded not guilty to 25 counts after police arrested him and found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his Los Angeles home last April.

Dykstra and two co-defendants are accused of trying to lease and then sell high-end cars from several car dealerships by claiming credit through a phony business. His accountant Robert Hymers pleaded no contest to one count of identity theft, while Christopher Gavanis pleaded no contest to one count of filing a false financial statement. They are both awaiting sentencing.

Dykstra changed his plea in October to no contest and in exchange prosecutors dropped 21 counts.

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Nice job Santa Rosa, CA Police!

Santa Rosa police arrested two men Thursday on suspicion of stealing three vehicles.

Police officers and detectives investigating auto thefts were conducting a surveillance of a house in the 400 block of College Avenue around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sgt. Mike Lazzarini said.

A silver Honda recently reported stolen left the residence and was pursued by an officer, but the short chase ended near Armory Drive and Ridley Street, Lazzarini said.

The Honda driver, Reuben Reyna, 28, of Santa Rosa, ran from the vehicle and starting fighting with a pursuing officer, Lazzarini said.

The officer used a Taser on Reyna but failed to subdue him. Another officer arrived and Reyna was taken into custody, according to Lazzarini.

Marquee Landrum, 33, of Santa Rosa, a passenger in the Honda, also fled on foot. Police set up a perimeter and a canine team tracked Landrum to a nearby garage at Glenn and Benton streets where he was taken into custody, Lazzarini said.

Detectives found two other stolen vehicles, another Honda sedan and a Lexus sedan, in the yard of the house on College Avenue, Lazzarini said.

The Honda was stolen at 1 a.m. Thursday from Mendocino Avenue and Steele Lane and the Lexus was stolen Feb. 14 on Townview Avenue, he said.

Reyna and Landrum were booked in Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of auto theft and possessing stolen property.

Reyna has several gang contacts in Sonoma County and police will ask the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office to file gang enhancements against him, Lazzarini said.

Separately, the California Highway Patrol said several Hondas were stolen and found stripped in and around Santa Rosa during the first two weeks of February.

The Sonoma County Auto Theft Task Force identified Andrew Childers, 20, of Santa Rosa, as a suspect, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Childers was stopped and arrested near the Kmart on Industrial Drive on Feb. 23 when he was found driving a Honda with stolen wheels, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said. Investigators also determined the engine and transmission in the Honda were stolen, Sloat said.

Auto theft investigators also detained and arrested Jordan Cantor, 20, of Santa Rosa in the Kmart parking lot, Sloat said.

Cantor was driving a Honda with stolen 17-inch wheels, Sloat said.

Childers failed to appear in court on Tuesday and a warrant was issued for his arrest, Sloat said. Cantor remains in custody.

Sloat said mid-1990s Hondas are the vehicle stolen most often in Sonoma County, mainly for their parts.

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Teen Car Thieves Run Amok in Price Geoges County, MD

A group of teens from Washington, D.C. are responsible for more than 25 percent of stolen auto crimes in Prince George’s County’s District 1, police say.

The recent spike in auto thefts began just prior to 2012, but auto theft activity in the district has gone down since the middle of February due to a string of 10 arrests made involving D.C. juveniles, some as young as 13, said Prince George’s County Police Major Robert Brewer, the District 1 commander.

“It’s a group of kids, some on their side and some on our side of the line stealing cars,” he said. “When I was 13, never thought about driving a car, much less stealing one, but to me it’s is what it is as far as the age of these suspects.”

Brewer said police are unsure how large this specific group of teens may be, but said it appears as though many of them live along Eastern Avenue, the border between D.C. and Prince George’s County’s District 1, which is why places such as gas stations are being targeted in the immediate area.

So far this year, there have been roughly 170 auto thefts cases, Brewer said, and about 47 are linked to the group of D.C. teens.

Brewer said even with the recent spike, overall auto theft incidents are down by about 22 percent from 2011. He said by the beginning of March in 2011, there were 216 auto theft cases. He attributes the overall decline to the warmer weather this winter.

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Proactive Yuma Police Department Fights Auto Theft

Dozens of people in Yuma set out to better protect their vehicles from getting stolen. Detectives, officers and volunteers spent the day informing people about auto theft and vin etching vehicles.

“I think everyone should take advantage of this program that the police offers, because I understand the car dealers charge a small fortune to have it done,” says Erving Able a Yuma resident.

This event was part of the 7th Annual Statewide Auto Theft Prevention and Awareness Week put on by the Arizona Auto Theft Authority in partnership with the Yuma Police Department.

Melissa Norrad a YPD Detective says car theft is a big problem in the desert Southwest.

“Statewide we are one of the higher ones, California has actually pushed us out of the # 1 spot finally. But in Arizona we have gone down quite a bit particularly in Yuma, we have seen a decrease of about 40-50%,” says Detective Norrad.

Although there has been a significant decrease in the last 5 years there was a spike in auto thefts in 2011 according to Detective Norrad. She says vin etching works because criminals tend to avoid marked vehicles.

“Having it on the windows is just another layer of protection for it. A criminal would have to replace all the windows or get rid of them to truly hide the identity of the car,” says Detective Norrad.

Auto theft isn’t just an inconvenience to the person it happens to, but also a burdon to society.

“Everyone else’s insurance rates go up when cars are being stolen because companies have to pay more , which in turn gets turned around on the consumers,” says Detective Norrad.

There are some simple things people can do to help protect their vehicles. Like making sure doors are locked, installing alarm systems and hiding valuables under seats.


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