A Lesson to Help Prevent Car Thefts

Posted at: 04/26/2013 6:38 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- More than seven thousand cars are stolen in Minnesota each year. Friday in Rochester a group of future law enforcement got a unique lesson in how to crack down on these crimes.

In just 20 minutes mechanics showed the students how a car can chopped for parts.

"Just to understand how fast a car can be gone, it's that simple," said Lehman’s Garage president Richard Cossette.

Lehman's garage out of Minneapolis helped demonstrate.

"The big panels they'll sell those, the fenders they turn around and sell those, and the engine will be resold,” said Cossette.

The goal of the demonstration to teach these Minnesota law enforcement explorers to recognize auto theft schemes.

"Teaching various indicators that they should look for in the field, when they are taking reports," said organizer Daniel Lueth.

The presentation didn't just focus on chop shop thefts, but other signs for law enforcement to look out for, such as insurance fraud.

"If the vin number has been tampered with or if they may have had motives for fraud," said Lueth.

While vehicles are stolen for all different reasons, when it comes to chop shops schemes now days the car parts can be worth more than the cars.

This group took this car a part quickly, they also used much more care than any car thief would.

"These are professionals that do this, most people that do this are not, they don't care they just want the money,” said Cossette.

Especially with the price of precious metals law enforcement are seeing many more cars or car parts being chopped for money. A car door alone can go for hundreds of dollars. Even wiring and parts of the frames are being sold for their metals.