Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3 PM EST
|Home||Sports||Community||What's Happening||Classifieds||News Summary|
Friday, 2 pm
Inserts Friday, Noon
Editorial Monday, Noon
Service Directory Display Monday, 2 pm
Service Directory Liners Monday, 3 pm
Classified Liners All Holiday Deadlines are One Full Workday Earlier
You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/06/13
ATPA, MATS report
fewer auto thefts in MI
by CHRIS GRAYState and county law enforcement agencies are saying auto thefts are on the decline in the state known for producing vehicles.
Observer Staff Writer
The latest figures from the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) show a decrease of 6.8 percent in vehicle thefts between 2010 and 2011.
At the county level, fewer vehicles are recovered and arrests are down by 4 percent.
The ATPA is funded by a $1 yearly assessment on each insured noncommercial passenger vehicle. A portion of these funds support the Macomb Auto Theft Squad (MATS), a task force made up of representatives from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, the Michigan State Police and various county police departments.
MATS reports that between 2011 and 2012, the number of vehicles recovered was down by 10 percent, but total arrests decreased by 4 percent.
The value of property recovered increased by $100,000, with a total of $1.8 million recovered last year. The majority of cases occurred in the southern end of the county, namely in Warren, St. Clair Shores and Eastpointe.
Lt. Mark Oermann of MATS said thieves are trying less and less to steal vehicles due to anti-theft devices. Instead, they are looking to fraud auto insurance companies or dealers.
"We see quite a bit of people obtaining fraudulent IDs, buying a car out of state, having it delivered here to a bad address, showing the bad ID with the driver's license with the name on it," he said. "A month from now you get a bill for the payment on your new car."
Oermann said the usual precautions should be taken to prevent fraud, such as not giving out Social Security numbers and not giving out information over the phone.
He said MATS is seeing a trend in the number of cars bought on Craigslist.com. He said if someone wants to use the site for buying a car, they should ensure the title matches the car and the seller's name.
"Do your paperwork at the Secretary of State (SOS), don't do it in the field somewhere," he said.
An odd factor to look out for is what time the car is purchased. Oermann said to avoid purchasing a car via Craigslist on a Friday night, Saturday or Sunday or time when the SOS is closed.
He said by the time a buyer goes to register their vehicle when the SOS is open, they could discover the vehicle is stolen and the seller is long gone.
"It rises this time of year because everybody is getting their checks back and they're looking for deals on cars," he said.
In terms of the vehicle brands, Oermann said Chryslers tend to be the most targeted make, followed by Ford and General Motors.
In the Village of Romeo, Police Chief Greg Paduch said the department sees about two auto thefts a year that usually result from family members taking vehicles without permission.
"There's not a lot of cases of outsiders coming in and stealing cars," Paduch said. "In 80 to 90 percent of our cases, the person knows who stole the vehicle."
Paduch said most of the crimes related to vehicles in the village occur when perpetrators open unlocked vehicles and steal items from them.
"There are rare occurrences where people will break windows to gain access, but that is because something like a laptop or purse was left on the vehicle seat," he said.
According to the ATPA, the following are the top 10 vehicles stolen by thieves in Michigan. The list is shown from highest to lowest:
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 2004 Chevrolet Impala
- 1997 Chevrolet pickup
- 1997 Ford Taurus
- 2002 Dodge Intrepid
- 2005 Ford pickup
- 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
- 2002 Dodge Stratus
- 2003 Dodge pickup