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By Rylie Friesen-
So far this year an average of 18 vehicles were stolen in Citrus Heights per month, and those with certain vehicle models are more at risk than others.
With July being Vehicle Theft Prevention Month we asked the Citrus Heights Police Department to provide some tips for vehicle owners.
Lieut. Michael Wells told The Sentinel that 1999-2009 Ford F250 pickup trucks are currently some of the more frequently stolen vehicles. These types of trucks are also heavily targeted in Sacramento and Placer Counties and are often taken to “chop shops” and stripped for parts, he said.
Honda Accords and Civics from 1992 to the early 2000’s are also targeted more frequently due to their ignition systems being easier to access. A shaved key from another vehicle or a screwdriver can often start these models, Wells said.
A “club” lock or similar steering wheel lock is recommended by police as a simple prevention tool. “Although these locks can be broken, a thief will likely to move on to an easier target,” said Wells.
The lieutenant offered five other tips to prevent vehicle theft:
- Lock your door
- Park in well-lit areas
- Install audible alarms
- Install a tracking system
- Do not leave spare keys inside vehicles
Wells said unlocked cars generally have a higher risk of items being stolen from inside the vehicle, rather than theft of the entire vehicle. He said thieves are known to wander apartment complexes and neighborhoods checking car doors to see if they are unlocked, giving them a quick opportunity to grab loose change, GPS devices, laptops and other valuables left in the vehicle.
The Citrus Heights Police Department is also fighting auto theft with detectives assigned to the Sacramento Auto Theft Suppression Task Force, which Wells said is a multi-agency force that conducts vehicle theft ring and chop shop investigations, as well as street-level theft enforcement.
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