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Sugar House Journal

Sugar House Car Thefts

May 05, 2016 16h04 ● By Natalie Mollinet

Natalie Mollinet | [email protected] 

Sugar House - Salt Lake City has always been a hot spot for car thefts, and Sugar House isn’t exempt. You or someone you know has probably had their car stolen or broken into. In fact, with nicer weather coming on, car thefts and break-ins will happen more often. 

Last year, car thefts in Salt Lake City went up 30 percent from 2014, amounting to 3,300–3,500 car thefts a year here in Salt Lake City. According to a study done in 2012, 34 percent of Salt Lake’s car thefts happened in Sugar House. But what makes Sugar House such a hot spot for car thefts? 

“We are a hot bed for car thefts and break-ins,” Amy Barry, head of the Sugar House Community Council, said. “We get continual reminders to never leave anything valuable in the car and lock it up.” 

Many of the homes in Sugar House were built in the ’40s and ’50s, and the garages weren’t made to fit two cars or the size of cars we have now. This is why residents of Sugar House are prone to park in the streets.

“You could say there is a slight increase during the summer months,” Smith Community Intelligence of district 6 said. “Sugar House has a slight increase, but overall they are still lower compared to other parts of the city.” 

In our district, aggravated assault still has the highest crime count. Motor vehicle is next in line for crimes committed in the district and is back on the rise, according to a chart done by police crime statistics. 

In February alone of this year, there were reports of 19 different car thefts in our district; last year there were 17, and the demographics have shown that that is growing. 

The cars that were stolen most frequently in 2015 were Honda Accords and Civics, especially models from 1994, 1996 and 1997; Ford F-Series; Chevrolet pickups; Dodge Caravans and Nissan Altimas. 

“Most cars taken are either vehicles without chipped/programmable keys or vehicles that have been left running or the keys have been left in the vehicle,” Smith said. 

The Salt Lake City police have suggested signing your vehicle up for Watch Your Car, a national vehicle theft prevention program that’s funded by the government. You’ll need to sign an agreement stating which hours your vehicle is normally used during. If a police officer sees that your car is being driven anywhere in the U.S. during the hours you said it wasn’t typically being used, they will stop the car and verify who is driving it. 

Another program residents can sign up for is an anti-theft service that is provided by the Salt Lake Police Department and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Those who own Honda vehicles up to 2002, Subarus up to 2004 and Nissans up to 2002 are especially encouraged to sign up, but all Salt Lake residents are encouraged. 

If you’d like to apply for the program, send an email to [email protected] 

However, there are other precautions you can take to prevent your car from being stolen during these warm months. 

 - Activate your car alarms and keep your car locked.

 - Even if your car is the garage, don’t leave your keys in the vehicle. 

 - Thefts can be prevented by using theft-prevention devices like the “club.” A club is a device that you hook up to your steering wheel and can only be unlocked with a key. This is a great device, especially if you have a type of car that is easy to steal. 

The cars that were stolen the most frequent in 2015 were Honda Accords and Civics, especially models from 1994, 1996, and 1997. Other models are Ford F-Series, Chevrolet pickups; Dodge Caravans and the Nissan Altima, all of course varying on the year that the car is. 

 - When using a key-hiding system, place the key somewhere other than the fuel cap area or under the wheel wells. 

 - Don’t keep a spare key inside your car. 

Keeping your car safe is actually simple and easy to do. Let’s bring the car-theft percentage down and help make Sugar House a safer place to live.