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Lompoc police say they are having a record number of car thefts

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LOMPOC, Calif.-

Lompoc Police are experiencing an unusually high number of car thefts.
They said that in recent years they have seen more car thefts than they ever have before.
It's a record number.

“I've been here almost 15 years, its' been pretty bad with in the last few years,” said Sergeant Scott Morgan.

Over the last three years they have seen over 520 stolen vehicles.

“Stolen vehicle numbers have gone up significantly, ” said Sergeant Morgan.

He noted there is a trend in the type of car they see stolen the most.

“What we see is a lot of Honda Civics, like mid 1990's, or Accords. Actually early 2000's,” said Sergeant Morgan.

Sergeant Morgan said they believe they see older models of Hondas stolen because they are easier to steal with manual devices.

Though they tell us the thefts happen all over town, they have noticed hot spots where they see it happening more.

“There are some areas around the 400 and 500 block of North J, K, L, M, N. And the areas around 700, 800 North E, F, G. It seems like there are a lot of stolen vehicles in those areas,” said Sergeant Morgan.

We asked the Police what thieves tend to do with the cars?

“It seems like they are just used for transportation for some individuals. They end up getting where they want to go and drop them off and leaving them there,” said Sergeant Morgan.

According to officials many of the thieves are repeat offenders.
One reason car thieves may be ramping up their roguish ways is because the penalties are lighter.

“It's not as strict as it used to be several years ago,” said Sergeant Morgan.

If the theft is ruled a misdemeanor it's punishable by up to one year in jail.
If ruled as a felony it's punishable by up to three years in jail.

There are some basic safety measures that you can take to help prevent your car from being stolen. Things like not parking in dark isolated areas, or leaving your car unlocked and running unattended.

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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