Visalia PD works to get off the car theft list

VISALIA, Calif.

Investigators say for most car thieves stealing a car is a business or a way to pay for a drug addiction.

Mike Paim with Independent Towing said, "Oh, they're stripped. They take body parts off, for some reason they go after airbags, I've seen cars in here with the sunroofs cut out."

In just a few hours of it being stolen, a motorcycle was already stripped of a seat and other precious metal features before it was recovered by police.

Visalia Police officers say they're working hard to fight Tulare County's rating as eighth in the country for car theft.

In 2008, Visalia Police joined with other Tulare County agencies to form TRATT or Tulare County Regional Auto Theft Task Force -- where agencies share information on notorious car thieves.

A YouTube video shows the task force arresting several people for breaking into and then trying to steal a hummer.

Gary Williams said, "We continue to make progress every year those officers out there identifying key individuals who are out there stealing cars for a living and they target those individuals. They've had several good arrests this year."

Authorities have seen a decline in car thefts. This time last year Visalia had 276 car thefts compared to 200 so far this year.

Mike Paim at Independent Towing he's noticed fewer stolen cars coming into his lot. "There is definitely way less stolen cars that have been coming through here."

Visalia Police say having a steering wheel locking device like a club, an alarm system or other security measures can help prevent your car from being stolen.

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