Police Seeing Rise In Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am Thefts

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeTheftNew OrleansLoJack Corporation

The Slidell Police Department wants all owners of these type vehicles to be aware that there is a person or a group of people that have targeted theses vehicles.

Since October, 2008 nine vehicles have been stolen within the city limits of Slidell. The city is not the only area being targeted by these thieves. Other parts of the metro area have seen an increase in Thefts and Attempted Thefts of these style vehicles.

So far the thieves have stolen five Chevy Camaros, two Firebirds and one Trans Am. To date only two of the vehicles have been recovered a 2002 Chevy Camaro and a 2010 Chevy Camaro. The 2002 Chevy Camaro's frame was recovered several months later on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. With the assistance of OnStar the 2010 Camaro was recovered later the same day in New Orleans East.

In one case a Grey 2002 Pontiac Firebird was stolen in February of 2009 from the 100 block of Queens Lane. The next morning the vehicle was recovered not far from where it was stolen from. Then on March 17, 2009 the same vehicle was again stolen, it has not yet been recovered.

Most of the vehicles have been stolen from large parking lots with only three being stolen from the owner's driveway.

To combat these crimes Chief Drennan has appointed Detective Jeff Theriot to the Metro Areas Auto Theft Task Force. The task force is made up of Officers from, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police and New Orleans Police. The New Orleans Police Department is the lead agency for the Task Force.

Having such a close relationship with these agencies allows for information to be shared on a daily bases. The Task Force is very proactive in its fight against these crimes. The Task Force has used a wide range of techniques, such as the use of "Bait Cars" and License Plate Recognition Systems. Also helping in the fight are vehicle locating systems, such as On-Star and LoJack.

Chief Drennan hopes that informing the community about this problem will increase awareness and possibly encourage people to come forward with information about these crimes. Citizens can also take some easy steps to protect themselves from being a victim of auto theft, by securing their vehicles, park in a well lit area that is possibly covered by surveillance cameras.

Don't leave valuables in plain view inside your vehicle, place these items in the trunk or remove them. The use of an audible or visible theft deterrent device is also recommended. There are also several systems on the market that can be installed on your vehicle that allows the vehicle to be tracked or immobilized should it be stolen, such as OnStar and Lojack.

Anyone with information or questions about these thefts can contact Detective Jeff Theriot at 985-646-4347 or by email at jtheriot@slidellpd.com. As always CrimeStoppers can be called with information about these crimes at 1-877-903-7867 or 504-822-1111, you do not have to give your name and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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