Oxnard Police Tackle Increased Vehicle Thefts with Aggressive #NotThisCar Campaign

Most of the time, we believe that it won’t happen to us.

Most of the time, we are right BUT…

Since the beginning of the year, the Oxnard Police Department has received over 600 reports of stolen vehicles. With three months to go in the year, statistics show that last year’s total of stolen vehicles could be surpassed.

Oxnard Police Department Property Crimes Detectives noticed the upswing and came up with an aggressive strategy to combat instances of stolen vehicles.  These measures ask for the community’s help, as well as, that of the District Attorney’s Office. Investigators from the Oxnard Police Department Property Crimes Unit and the Auto Theft Task Force will be employing the following tactics to help curb vehicle theft:

  • Use of “bait cars” throughout the city – Vehicles equipped with surveillance equipment will be placed in strategic areas of the city.  Suspects take their chances when entering and taking a vehicle as it could potentially be a “bait car.” 
  • Social Media (FB, Instagram, etc.) informational posts – An informed community is a safe community.  Crime prevention posts will be sent out on social media, along with updates of EVERY arrest of a vehicle theft suspect.  The message will also be shared during community meetings and it will be present on informational signage throughout the city.
  • Property crimes investigators will work closely with the District Attorney’s Office for greater prosecution of repeat offenders – Offenders with multiple cases will be scrutinized and tougher sentencing will be recommended.
  • Suspects arrested for driving a stolen vehicle and are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Suspects, if convicted, can be fined over $15,000.
  • The use of theft deterrent stickers will be offered to vehicle owners – The sticker warns would-be vehicle thieves that the vehicle may be under surveillance by the Oxnard Police Department.  As some vehicles are vulnerable to multiple thefts, the Oxnard Police Department is targeting these vehicles for enhanced observation. 
  • Additional enforcement details – officers will be detached from patrol duties for the sole purpose of locating stolen vehicles.  These vehicles will have a door magnet with “Auto Theft Enforcement” on it.  Also, warrant sweeps of vehicle theft offenders will take place.

The Oxnard Police Department cannot be alone in this campaign to curb vehicle theft. Crime prevention is YOUR responsibility and it starts at home.  Next time you walk away from your idling vehicle, in your driveway or on the street, turn around and turn it off.  If you see a suspicious person checking door handles to a vehicle that is not theirs, report it!  Let criminals know #NotThisCar!

Residents are encouraged to be “Partners in Public Safetyand are reminded to report suspicious activity to police.  Residents can report anonymously and translators are available 24/7.  Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7740 or the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 and www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org.

In addition, the Oxnard Police Department has a limited number of steering wheel locks available, free of charge, to owners of the ‘90s Honda sedans.  To obtain a steer wheel lock, contact Detective Charles Buttell at (805) 385-7755 or charles.buttell@oxnardpd.org or Detective Enrique Alvarez at (805) 385-7664 or Enrique.alvarez@oxnardpd.org.

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