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Police Work to Reduce Fraudulent Car Theft Reports Near Border

San Diego Police have changed how they handle stolen car reports because they suspect fraudulent reports in the border region are on the rise. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Police officials say they've seen a gradual increase in auto thefts in the Southbay during the last year.

However, San Diego Police spokesman Manny Guaderrama says officers suspect many of the stolen car reports are false and are filed by people who are trying to pull a fast one on the authorities.

Guaderrama: We suspect that some people who may have their car stolen, for example, in Mexico may come back to the United States to report their car stolen because they don't have insurance coverage in Mexico and, perhaps, their American company doesn't cover them there. People, actually, who know have sold their car and then come back to the United States to collect insurance.

Guaderrama says now, instead of simply taking the report over the phone, San Diego Police will send an agent out to the location where the car was reported stolen.

The officer will take the report there.

Guarderamma says the hope is it is that it’s harder to lie to an agent in person, rather than over the phone.

Amy Isacskon, KPBS News.

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