According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motor vehicle is stolen every 41 seconds in the United States, and more than 750,000 drivers fall victim to vehicle theft each year.
From January 1, 2018 through August 2018, Eugene Police received a total of 371 reports for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. Those vehicles account for more than $1,750,000 in value. Last year, there were approximately 572 vehicles stolen in Eugene.
In an attempt to deter criminals and reduce stolen vehicles throughout Eugene, Eugene Police Patrol began deploying a bait car in March of 2018. Since that time, EPD has arrested four suspects with the use of a bait car, three of which have led to prison sentences and a fourth still awaiting trial. Of the three prison sentences, two offenders received 30 months in prison and the other received a 40 month sentence, each of the sentences are followed by 12 months of probation.
EPD is unable to release specific details about the Bait Car program, only that the department has the ability to use multiple cars as part of the program. Property Crime Sergeant Wayne Dorman says, “We want those responsible for taking the over 900 cars since the beginning of 2017 to know that the next car they take could be one of ours.”
NHTSA Theft Prevention Information:
Use common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle:
Take your vehicle's key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
Park in well-lit areas if possible.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.
Thieves want vehicle parts and valuable items, too.
Radios and wheel covers aren't the only popular stolen vehicle parts thieves take. They want whatever sells, from the mandated labeled parts to those that aren't. Some of the most popular vehicle parts or valuable items stolen from vehicles include doors, engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, GPS units, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and purses.