Chevy Camaro thefts spike in L.A., use in street takeovers a possible motive

chevy camaro la theft

This isn’t the way anyone planned for the Chevrolet Camaro to meet The Great Beyond. The L.A. Times reports that the Los Angeles Police Department and another L.A.-area PD say Camaro thefts have skyrocketed this year — and yeah, it’s only March. In one area of south L.A., thieves stole two Camaros in January and February of last year; this year, thieves have swiped 10 Camaros in the same period.

Throughout L.A., 90 Camaro owners discovered missing rides in the first two months as opposed to just seven last year.

These are paltry numbers compared to the roughly 30,000  vehicles stolen in L.A. every year; however, the grand theft auto Camaro stands out.

Police have a lead on how the thieves are doing it and why, but they don’t have a motive for Camaros being the vehicle of choice. Some thefts are pulled off with a small device that can clone signals from a nearby key fob — an electronic gadget thieves have been using for years. Not long ago, we read numerous reports of bad guys showing up outside a house at night, holding a device near that would intercept communication between the car key inside the house and the car in the garage or driveway, and using the purloined signal to get in the car and drive away. What’s happening in L.A. is the same thing with an updated device or range of devices. We’re going to guess that the cost of such devices has come down, hence the younger crowd and a new rash of thefts.

Sideshows are supposed to be the reason, like the one in the screenshot above, taken at an L.A. Halloween takeover two years ago. An LAPD Sergeant told NBC Los Angeles, “We’ve seen a lot of these people who attend these takeovers primarily used to have Chargers, Challengers. They’re starting to migrate to Chevy products, primarily the Camaro.” Authorities have instituted harsher punishments for owners and cars caught putting on a circus in the middle of a busy road, such as seizing vehicles and pushing to have the cars crushed. In response, it appears some folks who will not be deterred have decided it’s better to steal a car for use in a takeover and risk having that crushed. After catching a 16-year-old kid with such a device, a captain in the Newtown Gang Enforcement Detail in south L.A. said, “This young person was stealing the Camaros and taking them to street takeovers and then selling them for $2,000 or $3,000 on social media.”

Authorities have the same advice for owners now as they did a couple of years ago: Get a secure holder for your key that contains the signal, even a tin can or some aluminum foil will do. And never keep your key inside the vehicle, nor leave the vehicle while it’s still running, which shouldn’t need to be said, but it still needs to be said.

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