Public Assistance Needed Due to a Rash of Tailgate, Tire and Wheel Thefts
SYLMAR – The Los Angeles Police Department’s Mission Division’s Auto Theft Detectives issued an alert last night, asking for the public’s help with a rash of tailgate, tire, and wheel thefts in the Sylmar, Mission Hills, and Panorama City areas.
Detectives have seen an upsurge in the number of thefts over the last six months. All truck tailgates are being targeted.
Frank Scafidi, spokesperson for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told CrimeVoice this morning, “A lot of tailgates now have cameras, which make them expensive to replace – $2,000 or more for a new one. Criminals can drop and unhook and unlock a tailgate in no time. California is second behind Texas for these thefts.”
Scafidi added, “Tailgate thefts can occur anywhere; several episodes of multiple thefts have occurred in single locations, such as auto dealers’ lots and shopping malls. Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.”
Scafidi continued, “Almost always, the motivator is money – to go and steal while avoiding an insurance claim, the black market demand, or for scrap metal profit. The rest of us have to pay for higher insurance premiums.”
You are advised to lock your tailgate and park in a well-lit area. Make sure your vehicle is backed up to a wall to prevent easy access.
Most importantly, mark your tailgate with identifying markings. Vehicle wheels should also be marked for easy identification.
Should you feel the need to take extra measures, detectives advise you to obtain locking accessories at your local auto parts store.
Anyone with any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspects is asked to contact Mission Area Auto Detectives at (818) 838-9810. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.