Honda Civics robbed across Northeast Ohio

Honda Civic thefts aren’t a problem exclusive to the university community this year.


Six thefts have been reported in Kent area

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Honda Civic thefts aren’t a problem exclusive to the university community this year. Kent State and city police are working closely with other agencies across Northeast Ohio to find any offenders, said Christopher Jenkins, lieutenant of investigations at the Kent State Police Department.

 

“Off the top of my head, I’d say about five or six other law enforcement agencies have experienced the same type of automobile thefts, and we’re collectively working together,” Jenkins said. Jenkins said law enforcement has identified several suspects in the Northeast Ohio region, adding that evidence points to one group.

 

According to Kent State police, five vehicles were found abandoned during different days in the Cleveland area.

 

 

The only one not found was the recent theft last Wednesday in the C-Science parking lot. Other than valuable parts stripped from the cars, each Civic found was missing its engine, which Jenkins said is likely the motive behind the thefts.

 

“The type of model they’ve been targeting has a specific motor that is highly sought after,” Jenkins said, adding that the Civic SI and possibly the Civic SE are one of the only models that carry the motor.

 

Honda Civics may not be the only target, however. Acura Integras, like the one that was almost stolen on Dec. 17, carry similar parts to the Honda Civic, Jenkins said.

 

“The difficulty with automobile thefts is that all of the evidence is taken with the vehicle and then leaves our jurisdiction,” he said.

 

Jenkins said the pattern of motor vehicle thefts this past several months is a rarity for Kent State. “Occasionally, we’ll maybe get one motor vehicle theft a year,” Jenkins said.

 

He advises anyone who owns a Honda Civic or a similar car model to park near highly visible areas like roads and sidewalks. He adds that it’s also a good idea to pull a battery cable after parking, so that any potential thief would have difficulty starting the car and driving off.

 

Jenkins added that more Kent State police have been sent to patrol parking lots, however, he hopes that students will be vigilant.

 

“Everybody on this university is a set of eyes and ears for us,” Jenkins said. “We can’t be in every parking lot 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

 

Regardless of the added target on their car, Honda Civic owners aren’t stressing about the added risk. Junior computer science major Matt Vitale hasn’t changed or added any new security measures to protect his Honda Civic DX from thieves.

 

“I probably should, but I don’t,” said Vitale, whose Civic experienced a break-in more than four months ago.

 

Zachary DePaul, a Honda Civic DX owner as well, said he’s confident with what he does to protect his Civic. After parking, the freshman exploratory major said he locks his car’s steering wheel. DePaul also said he’s confident his insurance would cover the cost if someone did manage to drive away and strip the car of its parts.

 

“I’m not losing sleep over it,” he said.

 

Contact safety reporter Simon Husted at [email protected]

 

Between the first week of November 2009 and Jan. 20, 2010, there have been six incidents of Honda Civic thefts on and off campus. In addition, there was an attempted theft of an Acura Integra, which has a similar makeup to the Honda Civic.

 

LOCATIONS AND DATES OF THE THEFTS:

 

• 1200 block of East Main Street, Nov. 5, 2009

 

• Ice Arena parking lot, Nov. 9, 2009

 

• 900 block of Morris Road, Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 2009

 

• R-5 parking lot, Nov. 11, 2009

 

• Failed attempt between Van Campen Hall and College Towers, Dec. 17, 2009 (Acura)

 

• C-Science Parking Lot, one robbery during the first week of November and a second on Jan. 20, 2010