As cars get more theft-proof, thieves get desperate

By Charles Sercombe

While the number of car thefts has been going down in recent years, a more insidious trend may start to emerge, say local law enforcement officers.

As cars become more theft proof, police are saying in private that they fear car thieves will become more desperate and resort to carjackings. It’s not the kind of thing that the Police Department wants to openly talk about for fear that the public will become panicked.

Modern cars can now only be started with an encoded key, meaning even if car thieves break into your car, they can’t start it up.

That has led to an increase of thieves resorting to stealing just parts of cars, mainly expensive wheels. The process of stealing wheels can often result in thousands of dollars in damages.

Locally, police report there is an increase in the theft of GPS-navigation systems.

Nationally, police are seeing a slight uptick in carjackings. That may very well be the next step for frustrated auto thieves. So far, that increase has not shown up in Hamtramck. For the past three years, Hamtramck has had just11 carjackings each year.

Hamtramck police say the best way to minimize your chance of being carjacked is to park in areas where people are around, and at night park in well-lit areas. Also, you have to be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for suspicious people or for someone possibly following you.

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