Police: Car thieves targeting Honda Civics

This 1998 Honda Civic was one of two taken in West Bay Tuesday. - Photo: RCIPS

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is still attempting to track down a dozen cars stolen on local roads since last June.

Of those 12 missing vehicles, eight are Hondas, six of which are Honda Civics.

Two of those Civics were taken Tuesday in West Bay and both were 1998 models, making them 20-year-old cars.

“Honda Civics are definitely the vehicles we are seeing stolen most often,” said RCIPS Communications Director Jackie Carpenter. “We urge drivers of these vehicles to consider getting theft prevention devices such as alarms or steering-wheel locks.”

It is often older-model, less expensive cars that are targeted by auto thieves. For instance, of the other stolen vehicles still missing since last June, only one is a BMW. The others are a Ford F-250 pickup truck, a motorcycle and a Toyota RAV4. The remaining eight vehicles are Honda Civics, Integras or CR-Vs.

There can be a number of reasons the older, cheaper cars are targeted, Ms. Carpenter said. First, the older model vehicles may not be equipped with more modern theft-prevention devices.

“If you install a theft-prevention device, the car thieves are more likely to look for an ‘easier target,’” she said.

Another reason the older cars might be targeted is because parts for those vehicles are becoming scarce on island. Ms. Carpenter said thieves might be taking them to strip them down and sell the parts to make money.

Local police are most concerned about car thieves who intend to use stolen vehicles during the commission of crimes. Common, lower-cost vehicles might attract less attention or be less recognizable. Ms. Carpenter said police are keen to put out information on stolen vehicles as quickly as possible because of this possibility.

The RCIPS has linked a number of robberies over the past year that occurred after reports of stolen vehicles. Once such heist at a local gas station in mid-June was done with a stolen Honda Civic.

“Given the continuing reports of car thefts and the propensity for stolen cars to be used to commit other crimes, we ask members of the public to vigilantly secure their vehicles at all times and not to keep any articles of value in their vehicles,” Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis said at the time of the gas station robbery. “We have received reports of thefts of vehicles where keys have been left in the vehicles.”