To combat the rising tide of car theft in East Los Angeles, officers distributed about 300 steering wheel locks to area residents. Hollenbeck Community Police Station handed out the devices to owners of some of the area's most-stolen types of car.
Most of the vehicles topping the list of grand theft auto targets are imports around 10 years of age. LA Weekly blogger Dennis Romero says one reason such cars are popular for thieves is their lack of modern security features like ignition interlocks, door alarms or GPS-based tracking devices.
The Los Angeles Times says the most commonly stolen cars in the East LA areas of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and El Sereno are '90s-era Toyota Camrys, Acura Integras and Honda Accords and Civics. A report on the Club giveaway from that news outlet also says the cars are commonly used for spare parts by criminals, or as transportation for use in other crimes.
In addition to possibly foiling a car theft, experts say anti-theft devices like The Club can have an effect on one's auto insurance premiums. While The Club acts as a visible deterrent to a car thief who is unfamiliar with how to release the device, it could also cause the chances of an adjacent vehicle getting broken into to climb. Experts say one effective but less obvious system for foiling car thieves is a GPS transmitter or other location-sensing device. Using such a tool can even lead to the arrest of a car thief if the vehicle is located rapidly, in addition to quickly and safely returning the motorist's property.