Car Thief Shares His Secrets About Ripping Off Your Car! - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Car Thief Shares His Secrets About Ripping Off Your Car!

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Chances are you or someone you know has been the victim of a car break-in.

When we lock our cars or activate our alarms, we think we can keep out thieves.

Even with that, more than one million cars are ripped off every year in the United States.

Convicted car thief Mike De Juarez says, "I stole my first car at 12-years-old. Stealing that car, the adrenaline I still remember that day where my life literally changed."

De Juarez was eventually caught. He was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison.

During that time, he lost his friends to the streets, and realized he needed to change.

He did!

He is now a Pastor at Cornerstone Church in downtown Fresno.

He works with at-risk youth to prevent them from making the same mistakes.

De Juares says you'd be amazed how easy careless owners allow you to steal their cars. He says people leave their car unlocked, and electronics are left in plain site.

But he adds the real money, stealing cars that are all tricked out.

De Juares says, "The reality is that hustle is a hustle. It is a quick dollar."

He says alarms and warning devices, even if they don't always prevent theft  just their presence often stops thieves.

He says "I am not trying to take an hour to steal a car. So if that car has a kill switch it has locks, an alarm, it has a blinking light, I'm going to pass on that car."

However, the best defense, GPS tracking devices like Lo-Jack. These are more expensive but the best protection for the money.

Fresno Police Sergeant Tim Tietjen, heads up the task force that goes after car thieves.

He says police can't do it alone.

Sgt. Tietjen says, "A lot of our best arrests are tips from local citizens saying we seeing illegal activity is going on here or we know where so and so is and he's stealing cars. We have to give a lot of kudos to those individuals."

Police say Hondas, Acura's, and GM's before 2000 still top the list.

Police say these cars are often ripped off with shaved keys.

Security chip keys in newer cars have made it tougher, but if a thief wants it bad, enough he or she will always break a window.

By the way, Fresno police say today we are at a 28 percent reduction from last year.

Fresno is still averaging about 8 cars stolen a day.

Before the task force was created Fresno was averaging 25 cars stolen a day.

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