Combating Auto Theft With Free Give-away

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LPD Sgt. Sierra Brucia (209) 329-3481

As part of our efforts to combat increases in crime in our community the Lodi Police Department is participating in a Combat Auto Theft Program to address a recent rise in reported auto thefts.

The Lodi Police Department had 349 vehicles reported stolen during 2012.  During the first quarter of 2013 (January 1 – March 31, 2013) the Lodi Police Department has had 83 vehicles reported stolen. This is a 66% increase in reported stolen vehicles over the same time period in 2012.

Currently the Lodi Police Department assigns an auto theft Detective to the Delta Regional Auto Theft Team (Delta RATT) specifically to address auto thefts in our community. This is in addition to efforts by both our patrol officers and Special Investigations Unit Detectives who actively attempt to locate stolen vehicles and auto theft suspects.  Several of these Officers/Detectives have been recognized by the California Highway Patrol for their efforts in locating stolen automobiles and arresting auto theft suspects.

Starting April 8, 2013, officers will begin a campaign that will focus on reducing auto theft through awareness and prevention. In addition to the ongoing suppression efforts, such as arresting thieves, recovering stolen vehicles, and prosecuting auto theft offenders, the Lodi Police Department will focus on prevention efforts by giving away free anti-theft steering wheel locking devices to owners of the top nine most stolen cars in San Joaquin County.  The Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force was able to purchase a limited number of the anti-theft devices with funding assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. A quantity of these anti-theft devices has been provided to the Lodi Police Department by Delta RATT and we are making them available to the public.

Auto theft in San Joaquin County has been a continuing challenge for local law enforcement officers. For the past several years San Joaquin County has ranked nationally in the top 7 areas as having the highest auto theft rates per capita.

Investigators have identified the top nine most stolen vehicles in San Joaquin County as:

1.    1989 to 1997 Honda Accord
2.    1988 to 2000 Honda Civic
3.    1987 to 1996 Toyota Camry
4.    1990 to 1998 Acura Integra
5.    1993 to 1998 Saturn SL
6.    1992 to 1994 Nissan Sentra
7.    1989 to 2001 Chevy Pickup
8.    1987 to 1995 Toyota Pickup
9.    1987 to 1995 Nissan Pickup

These vehicles mirror those reported stolen in Lodi, specifically the Honda Accord and Civic models.

A common sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. Auto theft investigators recommend you should secure your vehicle even if parking for a brief period. You should always:

* Remove your keys from the ignition
* Lock your doors / close your windows
* Park in a well-lit area

To pick up a free lock, simply stop by any of the participating law enforcement agencies after April 8, 2013. The only three requirements are:

* Own a vehicle on the top nine most stolen vehicle list
* Vehicle must be currently registered
* Be a resident of San Joaquin County


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