Getting what's inside of a car is risky for even the best of thieves, but below and more inconspicuous there are car parts--all within the reach of the right criminals with the right tools. And the specific parts they're after lately are mufflers and catalytic converters worth hundreds of dollars.
The Leon County Sheriff's Office says each month there have been more or less an average of ten thefts--leaving car owners with an unpleasant surprise. "I started the engine up in my truck and it sounded almost like a Harley Davidson." said Jonathan Denton, who was victimized.
Denton's Toyota Tundra was picked over in the Tallahassee Mall Parking lot and he says it didn't take very long. He said, "These guys, they come in, they take the sawzall underneath your car and they're gone within sixty seconds and they just throw it in the back of their car and split."
It can happen anywhere, so while you're inside just buying groceries, that's plenty of time for them to get what's under your car. But where do these parking lot pirates pay off?
SGT Gary Steinberg, with the TPD Property Crimes Unit said, "They have been bringing them to the metal dealers for recycling purposes and receiving money."
As Denton's culprits got theirs, he is without a car until it is fixed for about $3,000. But lucky for him, it was mostly covered by insurance.
To avoid becoming a victim, police recommend that drivers keep their cars in populated parking areas. When your car is parked at home, they say to put the car in the garage or install motion sensor lights in your driveway to deter thieves.