Violent crime in Hawaii has gone down in the past
year. That's the good news. The bad news is that Motor Vehicle theft has
increased over 30%! In the year 2000, Hawaii was ranked 2nd
highest in the nation when it came to property crime per 100,000
people. We also ranked 8th highest in vehicle theft. Why can't
we rank that high in SAT's or reading comprehension?
The #1 car stolen in Hawaii? The Toyota Camry... with Honda Accords
trailing close behind. Let's get down to the core of the problem. Why do people break into cars?
They fall into 3 categories:
Car thieves share some common characteristics.
They are overwhelmingly male. They fall into 3 distinct categories.
1) The Chronic - Substance abuse (ice ice baby) can make a person steal
anything that isn't strapped down. Drug problems are the prime
motivator behind more than 70% of Motor Vehicle break ins today. This type
of criminal is wildly unpredictable and reckless, and can resort to
extreme and dangerous behavior if confronted. The Chronic works alone and
does not often have a companion to back him up (more money for him!).
Usually the Chronic is looking for the easy score, or the path of least
resistance - He's looking to steal what is IN the car, not the car itself.
He's looking to pawn anything he gets for drugs. He uses no finesse
or fancy tools (he can't afford em, he keeps sticking all his money up his
nose) and will strike cars that are left
open (opportunistic) or use the smash and grab technique (bust a
window). The Chronic can never be stereotyped by age, as addiction
can hit any generation. Female car thieves (rare in Hawaii) most
likely fall into the CHRONICS category. See also Whitney Houston.
2) The Punk - Sometimes kids have nothing
better to do, especially during the summer months when there is nothing to
do. They'll steal a car just because it's there. They fancy
themselves as 'bad ass car thieves' but their technique often tells the
amateur status of these losers. The 'punched lock' is the
sure sign of a 'Punk', and the target vehicle is very prone to a great
amount of sloppy physical damage. Property theft to the Punk comes
secondary to joyriding around in the car itself, unless the Punk sees
something he likes inside the vehicle. Like animals, the Punk will do
whatever he can to 'mark his territory' by doing his best to
vandalize/trash/destroy the vehicle. He/She may even go as far as torching
the car when finished with it. He is most likely 25 years old or younger
with the mentality of a 10 year old.
If confronted, the Punk will most likely run or fight to get away. He is
not looking for a confrontation or money - just excitement. See also Bart
Career Criminal - Ripping you off is just another days work to this
professional career criminal. He knows all the tricks of the trade and has targeted your
car long before he has seen it. He has a shopping list of car types
or car parts and is usually not interested at all in the contents of the
car. He has all the right tools and can usually get into your car
easier than you can with your key. He will do all he can to preserve the car by
limiting the physical damage to the vehicle. After all, damaged
goods are hard to sell. You will be hard pressed to catch the
professional in the act, as his gameplan is to be in and Gone in Sixty
Seconds (isn't that a movie?). His day job, if he even has one, is
closely connected with the auto industry (repo man, mechanic, installer).
See also Bill Gates.
COMMON SENSE WAYS TO
GUARD AGAINST CAR THEFT
What can be done to safeguard your vehicle from these three types of
hoodlums? Remember that game 'Screw your neighbor?'. That's
the goal... Make your car harder to break into so he'll go on to the next
one. Here are a few easy steps to follow that will greatly
improve the chances that the crooks will pass your car by and hit the next
1) Avoid loading up your car with visible high ticket devices.
The Punk will salivate over your new in dash DVD player and will be
looking good with your tachometer hooked up to his car. Cars with
expensive accessories are five times more likely to get hit by vehicle
2) Hide all visible money, shopping bags, and equipment in the trunk or
under the seat. Hide all keys out of sight - even if they aren't the
car keys. And don't leave the keys in the ignition or the car
running - even if you are going to just be a few seconds. We hear so
many stories about the person who sticks his/her head into a doorway and
turns around to see some bum driving off in their car. AND PLEASE
NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED IN A RUNNING CAR! Be safe, not
3) 'Deterrent' is the word of the day. A flashing LED light shows that
your vehicle is protected by a car alarm. Stickers from Security Companies
do the same thing. A car alarm's purpose is not to
make your vehicle 100% impenetrable. Nor is it meant to be impossible
to disarm. 'The Club' can be defeated quite easily. These items are just
deterrents that makes your car harder to
break in to than the next one. Anything you can do to make the car
thief think twice.
4) Park in well lit
areas. Make sure your garage/home has motion detector lights
installed. Thieves, like roaches, love the dark.
NOT SO COMMON ACTUAL SOLUTIONS TO CAR THEFT - Some ideas that others
have come up with
People who can't afford a car alarm may or may not want to use the
following quick unconventional (sometimes funny) tricks:
1) Install a secret switch which disables the car.
2) Remove a vital engine part every time you leave the car.
3) The old 'carpet tacks on the seat' trick. Gets em standing all the
4) Turn up your radio volume all the way, so the thief gets a nasty surprise
once he starts the car. You will also be alerted if you are close
enough to hear it.
5) Velcro a tarp to the windshield of your car parked in your driveway at
night so you can hear a burglar removing it.
6) Place fake dog poo all over the seats.
7) I had a friend who installed razor blades behind his stereo unit.
One day, an unwitting thief fell into his evil trap and left behind a nice
blood trail and some pretty good DNA evidence. Can you say old style
Read here how some South Africans are installing flamer thrower units as
anti-theft/anti-carjacking devices. Harsh!
Vehicle theft in Hawaii
isn't going anywhere. Decide for yourself what protection your
vehicle needs - but please have some kind of deterrent. You don't
know how much of a hassle it is when someone steals your car until it
happens to you.