Grand Theft Auto: Los Angeles

LA loves Honda Accords. How do I know?  Ours got stolen last night.  (Technically it belonged to my husband but since I sold my car in July, we shared.)  We live in West Los Angeles and it was parked right outside the house (locked, nothing of value in it, windows up, etc).  My husband and I looked at each other this morning and just shook our heads.  (It has been a very bad year for us in too many ways to go into here.)  Why am I telling you this sob story?  So I can share what I’ve learned about car theft in LA and how the city did help.

This is not the first car I’ve had stolen.  The other was my Honda CRX in 1998, but it was found a day later.  Have you had your car stolen?  Recovered?  Please share so I don’t feel so all alone.

Join me after the jump for more about Hondas in LA.  (Watch the broken glass.)

(picture of where my car should be…)

If you’ve had this happen to you, you know that feeling of standing on your sidewalk, keys in hand, “Hmmm, I know I parked it here last night…uhhhh…maybe I moved it in my sleep?”  Then, time to call the police.  This is not an emergency situation (unless you got carjacked or saw the perps (yes, I watch Law and Order) in action) so you will call your local police station to file a report.  I didn’t have my local station number handy, or if I did, I was a little to spazzed out to find it so I dialed the ever awesome 3-1-1.  They quickly got me the number I needed and soon I was giving my report to officer Lopez.  He informed me that our car had not been towed or otherwise removed. Gone baby gone.

Officer Lopez also informed me that if we found the car in our neighborhood (that would be a lazy-ass theif) NOT to drive it but to call them back first so we aren’t picked up as car thieves.  Important safety tip, thanks officer Lopez.

Time to call the insurance company. They took all the info and a nice claims dude called back this afternoon to give me lots more info, including Honda Accords being one of the top cars to be stolen, especially our 13 year old gem.  See?  Check it out:

From the Auto-Theft website:

NCIB’s Top Ten Most Stolen Autos in 2006

1. 1995 Honda Civic
2. 1991 Honda Accord
3. 1989 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F150 Serues
5. 2005 Dodge Ram P/UP
6. 1994 Chevy 1500 P/UP
7. 1994 Nissan Sentra
8. 1994 Dodge Caravan
9. 1994 Saturn SL
10.1990 Acura Integra

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau.

#2 baby!  That’s our car! That was our car!

He said in Los Angeles, the 1990’s Accords are especially stolen for the seats.  This is what happened 10 years ago with my CRX.  It was found, without stereo and without seats, but in otherwise decent condition.  It took a while to fix, however, because the body shop couldn’t find…wait for it…replacement seats.

The insurance agent also said, often times the car will be recovered, and if the theives have taken ALL the seats (our Accord was 4 door) then it is a total loss.  But if just the front seats are missing, they might be able to fix it.  (Sounds awfully familiar.)  But we just have to wait and see.

Thankfully no one was hurt and there was nothing of value in the car.  But sheesh, it’s never fun.  3-1-1 was helpful as was the officer who took the statement.  Who knows, we might get a call this weekend saying a seatless car has been recovered.  If that happens, I’ll let you know.

Let’s hear your LA car story.  And here’s hoping your year is going much better than mine.

13 Replies to “Grand Theft Auto: Los Angeles”

  1. My brother had his VW Bug stolen from in front of his apartment on W. Silverlake Blvd (about 10 years ago). It was found weeks later, stripped of everything but the tires, including the steering wheel on a street with six tickets on it over in Boyle Heights. (Starting two days after it was stolen.)

    He basically owed more in tickets and for it being impounded (it took them 3 days to tell them they found it) than it was worth. So I took him over there to see if there was anything left in it, there wasn’t, he said goodbye.

  2. My older brother had an Accord that was stolen right outside our house in West Hollywood. A day later he was walking down the street and…there it was. They had taken all of his CDs, but that was it. Joyriders, maybe? We didn’t know.

    A few months later, he was working in Beverly Hills and his car (the same previously stolen one) was parked in a public lot with a gate. He had had one too many and elected to cab it home. When he returned to pick up his car the next day…it was gone. It hadn’t been towed, and their security cameras were one, but didn’t record.

    The second time’s the charm.

    I once tried to get my banged up Jetta stolen after I found a stay god in Echo Park that puked up the contents of its stomach all over my backseat (the garbage it had clearly been eating for weeks.) It was late and the dog was injured, so I was more concerned with getting it to a vet and checked out. When we were done with the e-vet, it had been hours – and the puke, well, it had just sat there. I came home, took all my valuables out, and left the doors unlocked and the windows wide open. No takers.

    Vomits is clearly the world’s best anti-theft device.

  3. HOlyfuckingshitfuckpiss Julia! As if you haven’t been through enough already!!!!? All I know is that when you get on the other end of this drainbow you’re gonna be veritably wallowing in all the good that’s due you two!

  4. yeesh. that is the suck.

    my old roommate had his ’99 altima stolen from our lovely villagio (valley village) neighborhood. he went through the whole scratching his head, i swear my car was here moment before he trudged back to the apartment in shock and called the police. we took him to zankou to help assuage the loss. when we got back, there were police cars on our street. it took them less than an hour to strip everything, including airbags and mirrors, and dump it back less than a block from where they took it.

    and i don’t presume that this makes you feel better, but my friend had her ’92 integra broken into about 4 times in one year when she lived in boston.

  5. Bummer.. never had my car stolen(knock on wood), but every car I’ve owned has been in a hit and run while parked..

  6. My suggestion: Lo-Jack attached to plastique in the seats. If your car is stolen, just blast the mo-fos.

    Half the problem are the thieves, the other half are the scumbags who willingly buy the parts and look the other way.

  7. Hey, if it would help, I can get you a great deal on some Honda seats, just look for my van in the parking lot…

    I’m sorry, inappropriate humor. That totally sucks.

    When thieves stole my car, they left the seats in but burned circles all over them with the cigarette lighter. I never felt the same way about the car after that.

  8. I had a 1993 Honda Civic. I left it in the underground parking of my apartment when I went home for Christmas. When I got back my driver’s side door and airbag were missing. D’oh. This was in North Hollywood around 2000. Now that area is so much nicer : )

    Eventually, I gave the car to my brother in Hartford, Conn. That little beauty was still going strong at 180,000 miles. But last year it was stolen from a bar. They found it stripped and totaled on the side of the freeway. Rest in piece 1993 Honda Civic. Rest in peace.

  9. That sucks.

    I notice there are only two 1995-or-later models. Perhaps the modern ‘key fobs’ etc preventing thefts. Eventually cars will be so high tech that they will be too hard to steal. (and no easy to grab catalytic converter on a hybrid, either)

  10. My Toyota was once stolen in Boston. Note how it’s usually the most popular cars that are the most stolen, for the parts. The really insulting part was when I would receive annual letters from the Boston Police asking me if I had found my car, and if so, to please let them know so they could update their records!

  11. Julia, I don’t know what to say. I only hope the thief gets his in the end at a local prison or jail?

    I’ve only had a car broken into once. It my first new car ever and they hacked the dash out for a crappy sears am/fm cassette deck. At least they left their tools so I turned it in for evidence. What really burned my but is in the space next to me was an RXZ and a Jag, on the other side it was a caddy…but noooooooo my f’ing crappy sears stereo they had to take. Whatever, insurance covered all the repairs and I was happy when it was done.

    If it make you feel better. In high school a friend had a gremlin. Rusted to the windows and even one in the roof. Awful car. We took it to a mall in South St Louis Thanksgiving afternoon. We left the windows down and the keys in the ignition with a “for steal” sign. His Dad took the call from St. Louis PD about the abandoned car.

    If I had a car to give you I would.
    fraz

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