The Surge of Auto Crimes & How to Prevent Them

In an era dominated by technological advancements, automobiles have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, alongside the convenience they offer, the rise in auto crimes has become a pressing concern for law enforcement and the public. 

The landscape of auto crimes is evolving, presenting new challenges for law enforcement, and necessitating increased awareness among vehicle owners. Despite advancements in security measures, auto theft remains a prevalent concern. Criminals employ various tactics to steal vehicles, from exploiting keyless entry vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to simply stealing vehicles left unlocked, with keys inside. 

Generally, there are two types of auto thieves: The ones who target specific vehicles for financial gain, whether it be to sell as a whole or strictly for the value of certain parts; and those who commit crimes of opportunity, stealing vehicles left unlocked for joyrides or to use while committing other crimes. 

Whether you drive a vehicle that is often targeted, such as a “muscle car” or truck with an expensive trim package, or not – all vehicle owners should take necessary precautions to help prevent theft. 

Preventive Measures and Solutions

Vehicle owners should utilize advanced anti-theft technologies and consider investing in modern security systems, such as GPS tracking, immobilizers, and alarm systems, to deter potential thieves.

Miramar auto crimes detectives recommend going a step further by installing a secondary GPS, such as an Apple Airtag, Tile Pro or other tracking device. Why? Thieves are trained to disconnect the manufacturer-installed GPS (ONSTAR, UCONNECT, etc.) within minutes of stealing the vehicle. A secondary tracking device has helped police track stolen vehicles faster, minimizing potential damage. 

Additionally, vehicles that are more prone to theft should always be parked in well-lit areas and blocked in by another vehicle if possible. Also, always ensure key fobs are not being left inside vehicles.

The illicit market for stolen car parts is a lucrative business for criminals. Organized crime groups operate “chop shops” where stolen vehicles are disassembled, and individual parts are sold on the black market. This not only poses a financial threat to vehicle owners but also creates challenges for law enforcement in tracking and recovering stolen parts. If you believe a home or business is operating as a “chop shop,” please contact the police immediately. 

Catalytic converter thefts are also still occurring. Converters are a hot commodity for the precious metal found inside. It takes a thief less than a minute to saw off a catalytic converter from underneath your vehicle. Consider investing in an anti-theft device that can make the removal of converters more time-consuming. Other considerations include setting a vibrating triggering alarm or having your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched onto your converter. 

Combating these offenses requires a multi-faceted approach involving technological advancements, public awareness, and collaborative efforts between law enforcement and our communities. Please always remember if you see something suspicious call the police immediately.