Shreveport police write hundreds of reports a day for all kinds of crimes, but for the last few years, they’ve been writing fewer reports for vehicle thefts and they’re not alone.
According to the Commissioner of Insurance, the number of vehicle thefts in Louisiana has declined 42% over the last five years. The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows vehicle thefts went from 15,640 in 2006 to 9,123 in 2011.
“Technology plays a big part in preventing a lot of thefts,” said Shreveport Police Cpl. Marcus Hines.
Hines says with technology such as OnStar, law enforcement officers are able to find stolen vehicles as the thieves are driving them. The device can even stop the vehicle and lock the culprit inside until police arrive.
Authorities say license plate readers also play a big role in reducing vehicle thefts. The devices are able to read several tags at once and alert officers to vehicles that have been reported stolen. DeSoto sheriff’s deputies and Bossier City police officers currently use the readers.
“I hit on a stolen vehicle the first night I used it,” said Bossier Officer Scott Wells.
Authorities say another deterrent for car thieves is embarrassment.
There are thousands of videos on the internet and television showing would-be car thieves getting caught red-handed in “Bait Cars.”
“If you see a car that looks too good to be true, it probably is and you don’t want to mess with it so I think thieves are actually getting the idea,” said Cpl. Hines.
The more vehicles authorities can keep from getting stolen, the more money citizens can keep from spending.
Auto theft is one of several factors considered by insurance companies when setting your premiums.
“We hope this trend continues to grow. Not just here, but across the country and we look forward to the numbers continuing to fall,” said Cpl. Hines.