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Chief's Blog - What's UP (University Park)?!

Jan 19

University Park Police Bi-Weekly Incident Report 01/01-15/2021

Posted on January 19, 2021 at 10:21 AM by Harvey Baker


Incident Type Total
911 DISCONNECT 4
CHECK WELFARE 1
DISORDERLY 4
DOMESTIC COMBINED 1
FAMILY DISPUTE 1
FOUND 1
FRAUD 1
MISC POLICE INCIDENT 2
PREMISE CHECK 16
RESIDENTIAL ALARM 1
SUSPICIOUS OCC AUTO 1
TRAFFIC COMPLAINT 1
UNKNOWN TROUBLE 5
VEHICLE ACCIDENT COMBINED 1
Total Calls --> 40

Jan 18

Airbag Theft on the Rise!

Posted on January 18, 2021 at 10:57 PM by Harvey Baker


We all have heard of vehicle theft and wheel theft, but now we must be aware of airbag theft, which is on the rise and has become a popular pastime for thieves. The Washington metropolitan region is experiencing a rash of airbag theft. Last year approximately 50,000 airbags were stolen in the United States, resulting in annual losses of more than $50 million to vehicle owners and insurance companies. The most logical reason behind the increase is that airbags are a high dollar auto part that thieves can get to easily and steal and sell on the black market. At a dealership it may cost a vehicle owner $2,000 to replace a stolen airbag. However, on the black market the same airbag may cost between $50-$200. How does airbag theft occur? Typically, thieves enter a vehicle from the driver side window and remove the airbag from the steering wheel. Currently Honda models are among the more popular vehicles in the DC area that experience airbag theft. The University Park Police recommends the following tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of airbag theft:

  • Choose a parking spot carefully. Park your car in a well-lit area or in public view, not in a dark corner. Thieves look for vehicles that are parked in darkened areas or beside large vehicles or trucks, which make it easier for them to steal undetected.
  • Install the Club theft protection device. There are several different club devices on the market. If you decide to purchase a club, make sure you select a model with extenders that hook into the steering wheel. It locks in place within seconds and safely secures your vehicle’s airbag. Make sure your vehicle alarm is activated when you leave your vehicle parked.
  • Never buy an airbag online. It might be tempting because of cost savings to purchase an airbag online but it is extremely risky because you do not know for sure where it came from. Airbags contain explosive material and must be packaged properly and shipped correctly. The cost savings is not worth the risk of jeopardizing your safety.
  • Replace deployed airbags at dealerships or certified repair shops. Last but most importantly, if your airbag requires replacement contact your local auto dealer or a reputable repair shop with ASE-certified mechanics to complete the installation. Often unscrupulous repair shops or an associate will save you money but may install a stolen airbag (knowingly or unknowingly) on your vehicle.

    We all have heard of vehicle theft and wheel theft, but now we must be aware of airbag theft, which is on the rise and has become a popular pastime for thieves. The Washington metropolitan region is experiencing a rash of airbag theft. Last year approximately 50,000 airbags were stolen in the United States, resulting in annual losses of more than $50 million to vehicle owners and insurance companies. The most logical reason behind the increase is that airbags are a high dollar auto part that thieves can get to easily and steal and sell on the black market. At a dealership it may cost a vehicle owner $2,000 to replace a stolen airbag. However, on the black market the same airbag may cost between $50-$200. How does airbag theft occur? Typically, thieves enter a vehicle from the driver side window and remove the airbag from the steering wheel. Currently Honda models are among the more popular vehicles in the DC area that experience airbag theft. The University Park Police recommends the following tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of airbag theft:

    § Choose a parking spot carefully. Park your car in a well-lit area or in public view, not in a dark corner. Thieves look for vehicles that are parked in darkened areas or beside large vehicles or trucks, which make it easier for them to steal undetected.

    § Install the Club theft protection device. There are several different club devices on the market. If you decide to purchase a club, make sure you select a model with extenders that hook into the steering wheel. It locks in place within seconds and safely secures your vehicle’s airbag. Make sure your vehicle alarm is activated when you leave your vehicle parked.

    § Never buy an airbag online. It might be tempting because of cost savings to purchase an airbag online but it is extremely risky because you do not know for sure where it came from. Airbags contain explosive material and must be packaged properly and shipped correctly. The cost savings is not worth the risk of jeopardizing your safety.

    § Replace deployed airbags at dealerships or certified repair shops. Last but most importantly, if your airbag requires replacement contact your local auto dealer or a reputable repair shop with ASE-certified mechanics to complete the installation. Often unscrupulous repair shops or an associate will save you money but may install a stolen airbag (knowingly or unknowingly) on your vehicle.

     

    Thank you,


    Chief Harvey R. Baker

 


Jan 04

University Park Police Bi-Weekly Incident Report 12/19-31/20

Posted on January 4, 2021 at 2:34 PM by Harvey Baker

Incident Type Total
ACCIDENT 5
ANIMAL COMPLAINT 1
CHECK WELFARE COMBINED 3
DISORDERLY 2
DOMESTIC 1
PREMISE CHECK 1
PROPERTY ALARM COMMERCIAL 2
SUSPICIOUS AUTO 3
SUSPICIOUS OCC AUTO 1
THEFT FROM AUTO 1
TRAFFIC HAZARD 1
TRANSFER TO HYATTSVILLE CITY 1
UNKNOWN TROUBLE 7
Total Calls --> 29