New Mexico lawmakers to introduce anti-auto theft bills | KOB 4

New Mexico lawmakers to introduce anti-auto theft bills

Jen French
January 07, 2018 11:03 PM

BERNALILLO COUNTY – New Mexico is anticipated to top the charts in auto theft again this year. According to the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, approximately 100 cars are taken every week in Bernalillo County.


Albuquerque police ran into auto theft suspect Joseph Hirschfeld again last February inside a gun shop. Police were able to track him via an iPhone after he allegedly took off with a 17-year-old’s purse and car.

Police say they found Hirschfeld with a stolen car again in October. He's been in an out of court for various criminal charges – auto theft is only one of them.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 10,000 cars – or 27 cars a day – were stolen in Albuquerque in 2016. It's become such a routine headline that a meme boasting the mantra “Come for the chile, stay because your car was stolen,” has gone viral on local social media.

Now, Republican State Rep. Monica Youngblood is pushing a bill that would force auto recyclers to demand to see a car seller’s driver’s license.

“It’s not required right now,” Youngblood said.  “This is what the bill would do. The bill would require that auto recyclers run a stolen vehicle check on each car that is being sold to them."

The driver’s license information would be entered into the MVD’s car database and potentially cross-checked with the National Crime Information Center's stolen vehicles database.

“If the car comes back that it is stolen, that information is turned over to law enforcement,” Youngblood said.

Republican State Rep. Bill Rehm is also tired of the trend.

“Auto theft is up in every single community state-wide,” he said.

Rehm wants money from insurance premiums to support a statewide auto theft task force. It’s an idea that 4 Investigates found is working in Texas.

“This brings more resources to go ahead and fight auto theft with not only other police officers but money for overtime and directed efforts,” Rehm said.




Jen French

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