With the goal of decreasing auto thefts in the county, the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force is giving out anti-theft steering wheel locking devices to owners of the top 10 most stolen cars in Stanislaus County for free.
The giveaways began Tuesday with the devices available at allied law enforcement agencies. Locally, the devices will be available at the Ceres Police Department at 2727 Third Street and the Hughson Police Services, 7018 Pine Street.
The giveaways will be on a first come first served basis and will be while supplies last.
The parceling out of the devices is part of an ongoing awareness and prevention campaign to curb the number of auto thefts in the county. In addition to the giveaway, StanCATT is focusing on suppression efforts, such as arresting thieves, recovering stolen vehicles, and prosecuting auto theft offenders.
"StanCATT remains highly committed to reducing the rate of auto theft within Stanislaus County" said Lt. Larry Chambers of StanCATT. "StanCATT would like to commend the public for their efforts in discouraging vehicle theft within Stanislaus County. Through their assistance, and StanCATT's continued aggressive enforcement, we are confident we can reduce the rate of auto thefts within our county."
StanCATT has three requirements for those looking to get the anti-theft devices. First, a person must own one of the top ten most frequently stolen vehicles in the county. Secondly the individual has to be a resident of the county, and lastly the vehicle must be registered in Stanislaus County.
Investigators have identified the top ten most stolen vehicles in Stanislaus County as:
1. 1990 to 1997 Honda Accord
2. 1990 to 2000 Honda Civic
3. 1994 to 1997 Nissan Sentra
4. 1994 to 1997 Acura Integra
5. 1989 to 1991 Toyota Camry
6. 2001 to 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
7. 1993 to 1995 Saturn SL
8. 1991 to 1995 Nissan Pathfinder
9. 1996 to 2005 Nissan Altima
10. 2006 Ford F-250
The auto theft task force was able to purchase the anti-theft devices with task force funds and funding assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
In addition to the anti-theft devices, StanCATT recommends people take a common sense approach to deterring auto thefts:
• Remove your keys from the ignition
• Lock your doors / close your windows
• Park in a well-lit area.