Car thefts decreasing in Phoenix metropolitan area

Car thefts decreasing in Phoenix metropolitan area

CREATED Sep. 2, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Avey

PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix metropolitan area led the nation in automobile thefts less than a decade ago. Last year, Phoenix ranked 60th among 366 metro areas in that category.

Police credit the dramatic decrease to the state Legislature's creation of the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority.

It trains a task force of police officers, funds prosecutors who specialize in auto-theft cases and provides bait cars that lure would-be thieves.

The Arizona Republic says the goal of the authority is to increase arrests and bolster criminal cases against perpetrators.

In addition to the work done by the authority, anti-theft devices such as smart keys and LoJack help authorities track stolen cars and have deterred criminals.

While the auto theft drop is significant, officials say there is still work to be done.

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