Auto thefts up in Albuquerque

Posted at: 08/13/2013 6:31 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

If you’ve got a great big Ford or Chevrolet pickup truck in your driveway you might want to consider sleeping in it tonight.

Albuquerque police say they are the most frequently stolen vehicles in the metro area.

Thieves just can’t seem to get enough of the Ford F-250 four wheel drive crew cab, or the similarly tricked-out Chevrolet Silverado, or any big fancy new American truck for that matter.

In the first half of the year, Albuquerque saw an increase of 212 auto thefts compared to the same period last year – a 17 percent increase.

“Many of our cars are stolen just to get from point A to point B,” said Lt. John Thies of the Albuquerque Police Department’s auto theft unit. “They just drive them around. They drive for a little bit and then they dump them somewhere. We recover a lot of them that way. Some of them end up at chop shops.”

Thies said they wind up on craigslist too, or at least untraceable parts show up there for sale, without VIN numbers. Police are working hard to bust that kind of business.

“We have been working bait crimes with our bait cars,” said interim Police Chief Allen banks. “We have been aggressive on auto theft, auto burglary, auto theft rings, finding chop shops. That’s why some of our numbers are a little higher this year. We are being aggressive toward auto theft.”

Auto burglaries were actually down in the first six months of 2013, from 3504 last year to 2,814 – a 20 percent decrease.

Residential and commercial burglaries showed a 4 percent increase, while larceny was up by 2 percent. Overall, property crime was up almost 4 percent.

The new cars that are least likely to be stolen?  Across the country it’s the Dodge Journey, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Audi A4.

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