Approximately 180 vehicles were reported stolen in Hanford in 2015. The number for 2015 (so far) is 221.
“It’s hard to say why,” said Lt. George Hernandez. “It’s something that just goes in cycles.”
Hernandez said that in many recent cases, thieves stole vehicles, drove them to another place in Kings County and just left the cars rather than stripping them for parts.
“We don’t know why they’re not keeping the car,” he said.
Popular models for theft continue to be older-model Honda Civics and Accords.
Part of the reason for that is that there are so many older Hondas still on the road that share parts that are mostly interchangeable, according to Dave Damron, owner of Dave’s Radiator and Automotive Repair in Hanford.
“People are able to swap parts on those things pretty easily,” Damron said.
According to Damron, there’s another reason thieves target those Honda models: They’re easier to steal.
Damron said it's relatively easy for somebody to break into the vehicles and start them without a key.
But in many cases, simple carelessness gets cars stolen, according to Hernandez.
He said that unlocked cars, cars left running with the key in the ignition and spare keys left inside cars, have contributed to thefts.
Hernandez recommended anti-theft devices — including a theft deterrent device that locks onto the steering wheel and makes it hard or impossible to turn.
“A lot of it is, just take precautions,” he said.
Some of the recent thefts have turned into chases. Kings County law enforcement authorities say there’s been a spike of incidents recently.
There were nine felony pursuit cases in a few weeks in October alone in Kings.
“Car chases can be very dangerous,” Sever said in an earlier Sentinel story.
We would like to thank The Handford Sentinel for reprint permission.