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Sylmar and Panorama City Are Hit Hard by Vehicle Thefts PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 04:22

Vehicle thefts are plaguing Sylmar and Panorama City, with Hondas and Toyotas the top targets, a Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant said Tuesday. Vernon said that many of the cars that are being stolen are older model cars.

One-third of the vehicle thefts in the LAPD's Mission Division occur between midnight and 6 a.m., according to Lt. Paul Vernon. The Mission Division also covers the areas of North Hills, Mission Hills and Arleta.

Vernon said 88 percent of the thefts occur on a street or a parking lot and 83 percent of all cars taken aren't new cars and are more than 10 years old.

Vernon attributed the high rate of thefts of older vehicles to older Hondas and Toyotas being able to be taken with shaved keys. Few older models have anti-theft systems and many are left unlocked because the owners don't consider their older cars worth protecting.

More than half of the cars that are stolen are found within two days, suggesting that they are taken for transportation rather than for parts. Many of the cars taken for a short duration have items taken from them, indicating there is a secondary motive for stealing a car.

Vernon suggests to fight the problem, car owners should:

• Lock their cars;

• Hide or remove items from the passenger compartment;

• Install an anti-theft system;

• Hide a kill switch;

• Replace broken anti-theft bars that lock the steering wheels to the brake pedal;

• Park in a secured yard or garage when possible; and

• add an additional lock to the hood to safeguard against battery theft and engine tampering.