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Car thieves targeting Chevy Camaros in record numbers in LA County. How to prevent it

Chevy Camaros appear to be an attractive target for car thieves in Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles Police Department reports a 500% increase of stolen Camaros, particularly in the Newton Area near South Central. Car thieves are using key clone devices to break into newer models, according to the LAPD.

About the size of a cell phone, these devices contain a programming tool that picks up the signal of a key fob nearby. Key fobs are intended to lock or unlock doors, and some have newly programmed keys used to start the ignition.

According to LAPD, two Camaros were stolen over the span of 2023 in Newton. Year-to-date, there have been 10 Camaros stolen in the same area.

At least 90 Camaros were stolen city-wide year-to-date. There were seven reported Camaro thefts city-wide in 2023.

The Newton Gang Enforcement Detail (GED) recently arrested a juvenile found in possession of a key cloning device on Feb. 24.

An increasing problem

While there is no clear explanation as to why Camaros are being targeted, car thefts have generally increased over the past decade. According to LAPD, nearly 30,000 vehicles are stolen every year in Los Angeles.

LAPD data found that 89% of stolen vehicles were recovered and 50% had been ransacked or damaged to some degree in 2003. In the past five years, car models with ease to enter were frequently stolen.

This included the late 1980’s and early 1990’s model Toyota Camry, Honda Civic and Honda Accord. Now, Camaros are all the rave.

The first Camaro was released in 1966 and was an instant hit. “Chevrolet had created a sports car worthy of the classification of American muscle,” said a Granger Chevrolet blog. “The rest is history.”

There are six generations of Cameros. Prices on newer models range between $32,000 and above $38,000.

How to prevent a car theft

There are a few suggestions to prevent falling victim to a car theft. For owners of Cameros, purchasing security cases can help distort the signals transmitted from the key fob. Security cases can be purchased online. 

Wrapping fobs in aluminum foil or placing them inside tin cans have also proven effective, according to LAPD.

Other suggestions from LAPD include: 

  • Never leaving a car running unattended
  • Never leaving keys in the car or ignition
  • Roll up windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of residency
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked
  • Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible
  • Installing a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes
  • Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards
  • Copy license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card. If a vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report
  • If a vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately

Anyone with information of additional crimes, or who may have been a victim of a person utilizing a key cloning device, is urged to contact Newton Auto Detectives at (323) 846-6592. During non-business hours or on weekends, call 877-527-3247.  


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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