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Friday, 10 August 2018 16:38

Truck Thefts Increase in Southern AZ

Written by Lupita Murillo, News 4 Tucson


In the United States, statistics show a vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds, and more often during the summer time.

In Southern Arizona, there has been an increase in auto thefts, especially trucks.


Detectives with the Pima County Sheriff's Department told News 4 Tucson thieves are targeting trucks for the parts. The older trucks are the more popular ones among thieves.


"Super duties, such as the 92s and the 97 1/2s, which are the older body style, trucks with the 7.3-liter diesels are targeted because of their motor," said Arson/Auto Theft Detective Jesse Comeau.


Comeau said thieves are selling parts like motors for a much cheaper price than you would find at a reputable auto repair shop. He said in many cases, customers may not even know they are buying a stolen motor.


Some thieves do not have to work hard to steal the vehicles; the owners make it very easy. Thieves stake out convenience stores, where people tend to leave their motors running.


"Some of these vehicles are left running for the air conditioning systems to remain on, and the vehicles are left unsecured. Trucks are relatively simple to break into as well," Comeau said.


Being this close to the border, a lot of stolen vehicles are taken into Mexico, where they are used for criminal activity, like human or drug smuggling.


Guns are also heading to Mexico in record numbers because people leave them in their vehicles, which are sometimes left unlocked.


"These weapons are being used in various crimes here and mostly being transported to Mexico where they are sold down there for a lot more money than you can sell the weapons here," Comeau said.


Vehicle thefts do not only impact the person who had their car stolen---they affect everyone on the road.


"The more times the insurance companies have to pay out, they're going to have to get that money from somewhere," Comeau said. "That, in return, falls back on all of us that have insurance."


Pima County Sheriff's detectives said they cannot stress this enough: Be sure to lock your vehicles and to keep all valuables out of sight.


They also recommend installing an anti-theft device.


We thank News 4 Tucson for reprint permission.

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