Airbag thefts on the rise in Philadelphia

March 4, 2013 3:58:35 PM PST
There's a new car theft trend in Philadelphia: thieves are going after airbags and breaking into vehicles to get them.

Small piles of glass mark the spots and the number of piles are starting to add up.

"I've seen a lot of glass in the city, just on the ground, outside where people park. It doesn't usually seem like it's in the two hour spots, it's in the spots you can leave overnight," Old City resident Dan Zimmerman said.

A few days ago, while Zimmerman was walking his dog, he saw one of the cars the thieves had hit.

"The airbag was taken, ripped right out of the steering wheel," Zimmerman said.

Investigators say thieves seem to be targeting Honda cars.

Police say in most of the cases happen overnight.

Thieves are busting in passenger side windows and taking the driver's side airbag.

"We've noticed a lot of glass on the ground. We've told our girlfriends to be careful when they're parking around here," Bryan Partridge of Old City said.

"It's not something you normally think of someone stealing, but if there is a market for it I'm sure that's what people are going to go for," Annette Borts of Old City said.

Action News has confirmed there have been 17 cases in about a week's time.

Most of thefts happened in the 6th and 9th police districts, concentrated in the Art Museum, Spring Garden, Old City and Northern Liberties neighborhoods.

"I don't know what else I could do other than be careful where I park and report if I see anything," Zimmerman said.

That is exactly what police are asking residents to do.

Investigators also say it's really important to report to police if your airbag is stolen as there is a serial number on each airbag that can tracked back to your car.