Tag: Car Crime

By on September 10, 2020

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is one of five former Volkswagen executives who will be standing trial in a German court over their actions in the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The five were charged in 2019 for using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests, but a court has modified the charges so that now the five could be charged as a criminal gang.

(Read More…)

By on July 23, 2020

Los Angeles car thefts hit record highs in the second quarter of 2020, with some claiming the matter is the direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite LA being infamous for car crime, the general trend over the last decade was a downward one — until very recently. A report from the USC Annenberg School for Journalism’s non-profit analysis publication Crosstown analyzed data from the Los Angeles Police Department, citing a 57.7-percent uptick in vehicle theft between April and June against the same period in 2019.

COVID-19 was theorized to have only been part of the problem. While the study notes that lockdown measures meant more vehicles sitting around unattended for longer periods of time, making them tempting targets for thieves, it also references the California Judicial Council’s passing of new zero-dollar bail policy as a contributing factor. Enacted in April, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the measure was taken so courts could set individual bail for those accused of looting. Meanwhile, most non-violent crimes (and some low-level felonies) are supposed to be bail-free, allowing jail populations to be kept at a minimum during the pandemic. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2019

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual Hot Wheels report this month. The good news is that auto thefts declined in 2018, according to the FBI.

The bad news? NICB is still doing a running tally of all the rides ripped away from their owners, putting the 2000 model-year Honda Civic on top. It was followed closely by the 1997 Honda Accord. Fortunately, the NICB also kept track of the 2018 model year specifically, proving that the nation’s most-stolen automobiles continue to be the ones that sell the best. (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2019

After an eternity of seeing the Honda Accord and Civic topping lists of America’s most-stolen cars, tastes have finally evolved. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute’s list of vehicles most likely to be stolen, Hemi-equipped Dodge Challengers and Chargers are now the ride of choice for automotive miscreants. Interestingly, bandits seem to prefer larger vehicles on the whole — with full-sized pickups and large-engined cars topping the charts.

However, there are a couple items that need to be sorted out before we progress. You’ll probably continue seeing Accords, Corollas, Civics, and F-Series pickups on subsequent most-stolen lists. Their volume alone makes them popular targets and any study going by sheer numbers is bound to include them. But the HLDI report quantifies automobiles by their relative risk using insurance data, suggesting its big-boy season for car thieves.  (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2019

Car2go

After suspending manual background checks to encourage fresh users in April, Daimler subsidiary Car2Go found itself with a problem in Chicago — its new customers were stealing cars by the gross.

On the April 15th, the ride-sharing service notice an uptick in usage that was well above the norm. However, as the day progressed, the company found that a lot of its higher-end vehicles weren’t coming back. Instead, they were convening on Chicago’s West Side. Two days later, the Chicago Police Department announced that it had been notified by Car2Go that some of the company’s vehicles may have been rented by deceptive or fraudulent means and was officially on the prowl for justice.  (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2019

Over $120,000 in tires and wheels were stolen off vehicles parked at Matt Bowers Chevrolet in Slidell, Louisiana, on Saturday night — an impressive feat, you have to admit. According to various local reports, surveillance footage shows two subjects walking across the parking lot in order to cut the locks to a side entrance, where they brought in a U-Haul. Roughly 40 minutes later, the truck exited the lot onto a service road with more than 124 stolen rounds.

Based on the quick turnaround, authorities believe the suspects must have snuck onto the lot several hours earlier to prep the tires for transport. They’re operating under the impression that the individuals are likely from out of state and part of a ring that conducted similar crimes in Texas and Oklahoma.  (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2019

On January 6th, local law enforcement reported that four kids enjoyed a night of destructive mayhem at a Houston-area CarMax dealership located in the 16100 block of the North Freeway. According to local reports, police were responding to a call where four young males were caught on video surveillance breaking into multiple vehicles. However, things got really interesting after officials learned the cars weren’t being stolen, but rather used to intentionally mangle other vehicles on the lot just for the thrill.

Police claim approximately $800,000 in damages after the group managed to intentionally wreck nearly two dozen automobiles. While none of the suspects’ names have been released, it’s probably safe to assume rowdy teens — mankind’s greatest foe — are to blame.  (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2018

Airbag crime is on the rise around the country, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and a recent report from USA Today. However, the latter of the two sources claims the issue is exponentially worse for Honda owners and nobody has any idea why.

“There’s no way for us to really know because owners don’t report to us when parts have been stolen,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin told the news outlet. “But we are certainly not unaware of the fact that Hondas have been a target of parts theft for many years simply based on the popularity of models in this market.” (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

dallas squad car hammered

Earlier this week a man wielding a sledgehammer walked into the Dallas Police Department’s motorpool and started swinging. The city’s Police Association claims the man wailed on 12 cars at the Central Division station on South Hall Street in Deep Ellum at roughly 5:20 in the morning on February 4th.

The man, 58-year-old Gregory Simpson, apparently entered the police station parking lot through an unsecured gate and started hitting the first police car in sight. By the time he was stopped, he’d caused an estimated $4,900 in damage. Had he not focused primarily on windshields, that figure probably could have come up a bit. But, as breaking glass is one of life’s simple pleasures, his focus was understandable. Why he chose to vent his frustrations on parked squad cars is not, however. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2018

Chevrolet C10

You probably never thought you’d see the day when you could look into the eyes of your child and tell them, in your most comforting tone, “Fear not, my dear sweet offspring, the dark clouds that once covered our great nation are breaking. Tailgate thefts have declined slightly this year and we can now see light at the end of the tunnel.”

However, as unbelievable as it sounds, that time has finally come. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), reports of insured tailgate thefts have stabilized since 2014. In fact, such crimes actually decreased by around 5 percent in 2017.   (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2018

garage door HOA

Throughout the 20th century, there have been three social ideologies that looked appetizing on paper, but ultimately proved toxic in practice. I am of course talking about fascism, communism, and the homeowners association. While we’ve successfully managed to keep the former two restrained in North America, the dreaded homeowners association has persisted — borrowing heavily from the worst parts of both fascism and communism to enforce an arbitrary pettiness upon regular folks everywhere.

This month, “everywhere” just so happens to be a California neighborhood where the local HOA is forcing residents keep their garages open all day. Apparently the Auburn Greens complex in Auburn, California found out that a single resident had been caught allowing people to sleep in their garage. To ensure this never happens again, the homeowners association has mandated all residents leave their automotive bays open between the hours of 8 a.m. an 4 p.m. or receive a $200 fine. (Read More…)

By on December 14, 2017

Detroit Police Car

Four officers from the Detroit Police Department pleaded guilty to extortion charges this week, with another two being indicted, after receiving bribes from body shops looking for stolen and abandoned vehicles obtained by the city. Federal investigators have been looking into the scheme, which involves shops collecting thousands of dollars from insurance companies for unnecessary repairs, for well over a year.

The accused officers are believed to have reported stolen or abandoned vehicles to a single towing company, rather than police dispatch. From there, the towing service would pay them a $50 to $100 “finders fee” before notifying the car’s owner that it had been stolen and sustained unspecified damages. Fortunately, the towing service always knew of a repair shop that would “waive the deductible.”

The cars were then stripped so the claims adjuster could quote the vehicle for thousands of dollars in damages.  (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2017

car crime theft

Florida lawmakers are pushing a new bill that would make it illegal to have your car stolen if you haven’t bothered to take the keys out of the ignition. While accidentally prepping a car for prospective thieves is easily one of the dumbest things you can do, making it illegal to leave it running while you pop in to buy a pack of gum sets us up for a nice slippery slope argument.

Last week, State Representative Wengay Newton and Senator Perry Thurston introduced matching proposals (House Bill 927 and Senate Bill 1112) that would make leaving your car unattended without stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key a second-degree misdemeanor. Under the Florida statute, the crime would be punishable with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2017

chevrolet-suburban-2005

There wasn’t anything particularly bizarre happening within the automotive realm last week, so our Freaky Friday posting was absent from its usual rotation. However, while our writing staff was finishing its day, two car thieves threw a Hail Mary of weirdness down the field for a touchdown.

A beige Chevrolet Suburban owned by a contractor working for Daniel & Sons Funeral Home was transporting a corpse when witnesses claim 28-year-old Tanya Albrecht stole it from a convenience store parking lot in Bryan, Texas. The SUV had been left unattended with the keys in the ignition, presumably because the owner assumed nobody would want to steal a car with a dead body in the back.  (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2017

bentley continental gtc

If I’ve learned anything from Steph Willems, its that choosing the correct subject matter is half the battle in setting-up a solid Freaky Friday post. This one checks all the important boxes: young love, restraining orders, celebrity involvement, grand theft auto, gambling, expensive automobiles, and a curse-laden freakout ending in arrest.

Conrad Hilton, the 23-year-old brother of professional … uh, celebrity (I guess) … Paris Hilton, was charged with felony auto theft this week after allegedly stealing a Bentley Continental over the weekend. He was picked up by police in front of the Hollywood Hills home of his ex-girlfriend, Hunter Salomon, who had previously issued a restraining order against him.

The stolen Bentley belonged to Hunter’s father, Rick Salomon. If that name sounds familiar, he’s the man that won $2.8 million in the World Series of Poker in 2014, made a sex-tape with Paris in 2003, sued the Hilton family for deformation, and then began distributing the video himself a year later.  (Read More…)

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