Birmingham Police seeing an increase in stolen cars across the city, especially muscle cars
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police say you need to double check your car doors at night, because auto thefts are up across the city.
Sgt. Rodarius Mauldin said they see anywhere from six to ten vehicles being stolen each week. He said it can happen at all times of day and to any car, but there are certain cars that they are noticing a trend in being stolen.
“We have seen a lot of theft with our muscle cars,” Mauldin said. “The Dodge Chargers and Challengers. They are mainly being stolen for parts and cloning those vehicles and changing the VIN numbers. We have also seen an influx with our Toyota Camrys, as well as Nissan Altimas.”
479 cars have been stolen in the city so far this year, and Sgt. Mauldin said it can happen at any time of day.
“A lot of our cars, the doors are unlocked, but we do have some that are forced entry,” he said. “At times we see theft rings that go around looking for opportunities to steal cars. Sometimes we come in contact with our more experienced car thieves.”
He said the thieves are people of all ages, but there are ways to try and protect yourself. He said never leave the car running, even if you’re only running a quick errand.
“They’ll leave the car running while they run into the convenience store or they’ll get out and talk to someone and it’s easy for a criminal to jump in your car and drive off,” Mauldin said. “Park in a well lit area. Take your key fobs out and lock the doors.”
Mauldin said there are cases where they recover stolen cars. 243 have been found so far this year, but the parts aren’t always still there.
“There are different shops they made trade those parts or sell those parts too,” Mauldin said. “We have a pretty good working relationship with our local mechanic shops, so we stay in contact with them.”
Mauldin said when they are able to recover these stolen vehicles, sometimes they are unharmed and don’t have much damage, but he says sometimes the car won’t even be drivable from where it was found at.
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