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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Air bag thieves hit cars in the Annandale/Mason area

There were “a significant number” of air bag thefts from vehicles in the Mason District in the past week or so, said Capt. David Smith, commander of the Mason Police District, including at least one on Whispering Lane in Annandale and about eight in The Pinecrest community.

There were also air bag thefts from multiple vehicles in Arlington last week, including several in the Fairlington community. In addition, air bags were stolen from cars recently in the Franconia and Fair Oaks areas in Fairfax County, and there have been clusters of air bag thefts throughout Northern Virginia in the past four years.


The cars targeted in The Pinecrest were parked on Jupiter Hills Circle, Sahalee Court, and Medinah Lane. The photo shows the window of one of those cars covered in plastic.

A resident of The Pinecrest reports that thieves broke windows to get into the vehicles, ripped the airbag from the steering wheel, then popped the hood to get the electronics out. “It appeared to be a very professional job,” the resident said.

According to Smith, air bag thieves are targeting the most popular makes of cars, such as Hondas, Toyotas, and Acuras. A stolen airbag can sell for hundreds of dollars on the black market. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates 60,000 airbags are stolen annually, costing insurance companies about $50 million.

The NICB warns consumers trying to replace a stolen or faulty air bag to shop at a legitimate dealer or auto repair shop and make sure the air bag is from an auto manufacturer, dealer, or certified recycler.

Counterfeit air bags have also surfaced across the county, NICB warns. These air bags might not deploy in a crash or could explode into flames and throw out plastic or metal shrapnel when they deflate.

5 comments:

  1. The airbags that were stolen will propably be used as collateral to obtain a loan from a loan shark at one of the many TitleMax locations in Annandale to build a mcmansion that will be super sized with RSUs. Welcome to the new normal Fairfax!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. strange, but probably true.

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  2. Do these lowlifes compete with the catalytic converter thieves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, they compete with the catastrophic converter thieves.

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  3. Crime Solvers is offering a $100 to $1,000 cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.

    ReplyDelete