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Police Have New Way of Catching Car Thieves

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Aired 4/20/09

 The San Diego Police Department has a new tool to help catch car thieves in the act. KPBS reporter Katie Orr has details.

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(Photo: San Diego Police will equip bait cars such as this one with special equipment that will be able to track the vehicle’s movements and record audio and video of a car thief in action. Police can control the car from a remote computer, allowing them to turn off the engine and lock the thief inside. Katie Orr/KPBS)

Insurance company Allstate has donated a so-called bait car to the SDPD. It’s outfitted with technology that allows police officers to remotely control the car and monitor its movements. Allstate’s Phil Telgenhoff says the computerized equipment was designed especially for the car.

 

“Which essentially lures car thieves into the vehicle, locks them in and is able to catch them in the act, furthering the reduction of car thefts in the San Diego community,” he says.

 

Police will park the car in areas throughout the city where more thefts occur. The equipment can also be transferred betweens cars. The FBI ranks San Diego 8th in the country for car thefts. Last year more than 10 thousand cars in the city were stolen. But police officials say the theft rate has dropped 19 percent over the last several years.  

 

Katie Orr, KPBS News.

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