GEICO and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Set Out Bait to Catch Auto Thieves
GEICO Car Donation Helps Law Enforcement Catch Theft In the Act
OAKLAND COUNTY, MICH.– Catching car thieves sometimes takes more than just patience and persistence—it takes bait. For the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Task Force in Oakland County, Mich., that bait is a specially-altered vehicle, donated by GEICO, and strategically placed in high-theft areas around the county to catch auto thieves.
The bait car program, which was started in the county earlier this year after the sheriff’s office noticed an uptick in auto theft throughout the area, allows officers to proactively catch car thieves in the act of stealing the bait car, effectively preventing future residential vehicle thefts.
“Most people who steal these types of vehicles are part of a theft ring that may be involved in other illegal activity like drugs or car jackings,” said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “By using the bait car we are able to get these people off the street and push down the frequency of auto theft. Once we get auto theft in an area down, it helps reduce other crimes and helps push insurance rates down.”
GEICO constantly works with local law enforcement and community groups to help reduce auto theft in communities around the nation. In addition to working with Oakland County Sheriff’s Office through the bait car program, GEICO is also working closely with the department’s Auto Theft Task Force to shut down fraudulent insurance card rings that contribute to the county’s theft and crime issues.
“Auto theft not only deprives customers of their vehicles, but also puts people in more danger since people who take stolen cars are often involved in accidents or other crimes,” said Steven Rutzebeck, GEICO’s Special Investigations Unit manager. “Bait car donations give us the opportunity to reduce theft, sometimes lowering insurance rates, and increase public safety in these areas.”
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