Auto theft less of a problem in Arizona, but don’t rest easy

Apr 1, 2015, 11:10 AM | Updated: Apr 3, 2015, 10:57 am

In 2003, Arizona was the top state for automobile thefts. Since then, it’s improved to No. 9, according to the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a problem, said Frederick Zumbo, executive director of Arizona Automobile Theft Authority. In fact, he said, a car stolen from the Valley can be at the Mexican border in about two hours and torn up to be used for trafficking drugs or people.

As Zumbo’s group and law enforcement partners held Auto Theft and Crime Prevention Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, recovered pickup truck with the back seats were ripped out illustrated the continuing problem.

“We are a car-driven society,” Zumbo said. “So when a vehicle like this gets stolen, and is recovered in the condition that it is, it’s not driveable … It’s very disappointing to people and they feel violated.”

Zumbo said a good car thief can break into a car in three minutes. In response, law enforcement agencies use technology such as license plate readers to find and recover vehicles.

Paul Babeu, Pinal County’s sheriff and a member of the Arizona Auto Theft Authority board, said it’s essential to discuss crimes and auto theft with policymakers.

“We can do so much more in partnerships with our local police departments, sheriff offices and DPS working together to disrupt and dismantle some of these criminal syndicates,” he said.

Tina Balsewicz, a Chandler Police Department crime prevention officer, said 95 percent of a police officer’s job is educating the public, not arresting people.

“Education is power, that’s what it comes down to,” she said. “We’re giving them an opportunity to defend themselves.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo: Steak 44)...
KTAR.com

6 Arizona restaurants make OpenTable’s best date night spots

Teaming up with the app Bumble, OpenTable came up with the best 100 spots for a date night, with six Arizona restaurants making the list. 
24 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Suspect charged in carjacking, shooting at Target parking lot in Peoria

A suspect was charged Friday in the carjacking and shooting at a Target parking lot in Peoria, authorities said.
24 hours ago
FBI agents in Chattanooga, Tennessee, plan out Operation Cross Country investigative activities....
KTAR.com

Phoenix FBI agents find 17 human trafficking victims as part of Operation Cross Country

Phoenix-based FBI agents located 17 adult victims of human trafficking last week as part of a nationwide enforcement campaign, authorities said.
24 hours ago
FILE - A boat cruises along Lake Powell near Page, Ariz., on July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, ...
Associated Press

2 killed, 5 injured when plane crashes into Lake Powell near Arizona-Utah border

Two people were killed and five others injured after a small plane crashed into Lake Powell near the Arizona-Utah border, authorities said.
24 hours ago
Virginia Walker, 64, was last seen in Phoenix on Friday. (Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled for 64-year-old woman last seen in Phoenix

Authorities said a Silver Alert for a woman who went missing in Phoenix late last week has been canceled after she was found safe Monday.
24 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...
Taylor Kinnerup

Phoenix Fire Department response times increasing due to lack of resources, population growth

Phoenix Fire Department leaders are sounding the alarm over a lack of resources, which is leading to an 80% increase in call response times as the Valley’s population continues to boom.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Auto theft less of a problem in Arizona, but don’t rest easy