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Man in South Miami suspected in series of car hopping b... Man in South Miami suspected in series of car hopping break ins

A new car-theft trend has police across the country worried. "Car hopping" is when thieves steal valuables from multiple vehicles in the same area, quickly moving from one vehicle to another. Thieves look for accessible marks, such as cars with unlocked doors or convertibles with the top down. Once inside, they steal anything of value, including sunglasses, spare change or phone chargers.

South Florida police told CBS 4 Miami that car-hopping crimes have skyrocketed in the past two years. But Florida is not alone. Arizona, Virginia, Colorado, and North Carolina also had problems with car-hopping thefts.

South Miami Police Major Rene Landa gave viewers of CBS 4 Miami some excellent advice

"Don't leave anything of value in the car. Lock your doors and don't leave anything in plain view"

Locking a car and engaging a security system is a good way of protecting your valuables. It's more difficult to steal an entire car with new technology like GPS tracking becoming popular. The value of tracking stolen vehicles was never more evident than when policed used Mercedes mbrace telematics to track down the Boston Bomber suspects. Cops are also using high definition cameras to scan license plates and find stolen vehicles. Because of the high risk level involved in stealing cars, thieves are much more likely to behave like car hoppers, targeting valuables inside the car, or valuable parts of your car.

Given that thieves can make tons of money by selling individual parts, it's no surprise that they will often target a car for its components. And we're not talking just radios and wheels. NHTSA describes certain car components as "hot parts," which are parts that thieves are particularly interested in. The list includes air bags, batteries, catalytic converters, GPS units, DVD entertainment systems and items left visible in your car such as iPods, computers and purses.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      easy show, easy go
      • 2 Years Ago
      CONVERTIBLES.....Don't lock them, put your valuables in the trunk and lock it, . Just had this happen to me. All they got was a pair of cheap sunglasses, but I paid $800 for a new convertible top. BTW my car doesn't have an alarm.
        • 2 Years Ago
        What good would it be to put your valuables in the trunk if you have a convertible or they can get inside your car ??? If they can get inside your ca,r they can unlock the trunk from the trunk-release-button. I'd recommend, put the top up on a convertible because they have to take time to ruin your top and possibly get caught while doing it. The "time" it takes to commit the crime is important. "Time" is a criminals' Worse Enemy.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Guess you don't own a convertible? There is a switch in the trunk to prevent opening the trunk from the cabin. You have to open the trunk by key or keyless remote. Many sedans also have that.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Don't leave anything of value in the car. Lock your doors and don't leave anything in plain view"...really, this is a news flash?? Police and crime prevention professionals have been telling people this for fifty years!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      My city is consistanly in the top 10 of low crime rates. We always vote for whatever our public schools ask for. Well educated kids=low crime rates who would have ever guessed? Definately not the Teabaggers or Libertarians. of Patriots Moment lunes.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I bet 10 to 1 that the thiefs would vote democrat if they voted .
        Your Highness
        • 2 Years Ago
        Now tell us one about the tooth faery.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Why attack the Tea Party and those who are patriots? They only want everyone (politicians) to follow the constitution and the laws of the land. If we followed the rules, there would be no reason to need to lock our cars. But I do everytime because I live near a city (Detroit) who's kids are raised by a school system that produces more liberal, crime loving, democratic voters who's big dream is to see how much BO can give them. Tea Party or Libertarians can do nothing to help this city or the area, the democrats have destroyed it and fed off their remains.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did you see how the Japanese acted after the tsunami ? No looting. You remember what happened to New Orleans after that city had a similar disaster ? There are people who know not to take what does not belong to them. This country is no longer what it used to be. The starting point seems to be the 60's when the Supreme count declared that it was free speech when the countries' flag was desecrated, and kids became not responsible for their criminal acts. I am with Kdalsip all the way.
      • 2 Years Ago
      latest trick of car thieves is..... "Thieves look for accessible marks, such as cars with unlocked doors or convertibles with the top down. " BRILLIANT!!! Never thought of THAT before
        • 2 Years Ago
        and main reason never got a Convertible Corvette either.. Same for Cars with T-Tops..Remember them? a Real PIA to Reove and ReInstall them Leaving your Pit Bull or German Sheppard in the car helps !
      • 2 Years Ago
      Car Hopping LMAO duh
      • 2 Years Ago
      What the hell are these people doing leaving cars UNLOCKED?????? I am from a community where you used to (in the 70's) leave the front door and the cars unlocked windows opened and everything but NOT IN THE LAST 40 years people! Lock it up, leave nothing of value in it, I do not even like things in the trunk worth anything. These people obviously have too much money if they do not care if they lose stuff out of their car.
      Harry Hurt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm for car "baiting", where thieves are lured by the police parking cars in areas prone to theft, leaving valuables in plain view, and leaving the doors unlocked; then moving in and arresting the thieves in the act. Lets use more ENTRAPMENT tactics and clear these thieves off the streets. We can put them to work on assembly lines, and let them make use of themselves. They can plow fields, pick cotton, and hoe gardens. They can do janitorial work and keep our highways clean.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hell no. You need to LOCK up your ASS because of robbers? F them and start getting tougher against them. My God, folks needs to shut/bolt/latch their entire homes when the sun goes down everywhere. It sickens me and also shows another trend. People do not get involved and do not know their neighbors anymore. THAT is a major factor
      • 2 Years Ago
      latest "trend" been going on for years here in south Florida, forget cars but public storage units. Thieves work in large teams. Lookouts for police, one guy to bust open locks, one guy with a truck that drives along as others clean out units loading the truck. I had my unit and 15 of my neighbors cleaned out in less than five minutes lost thousands of dollars worth of tools.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I leave my car unlocked without worry and sometimes I leave the window partly down. Assuming they figure out how to get in (one door handle is broken and one door is jammed) the only thing they'll find is a couple of bibles and some grocery bags!
        • 2 Years Ago
        The pastor at a church I attend had someone break into his car and steal a Bible. The pastor was slow to anger and quick to forgive (James 1:19) and said, "If that's what it takes for someone to get to know Christ, so be it."
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