Police Issue Warning Over Thefts Increasing 1,285% For Chevy Camaro. Criminals Using New Method

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

John Oyewale Contributor
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Los Angeles police warned Thursday that suspects are using a new method that has caused a 1,285% spike in the theft of Chevrolet Camaro, according to a statement.

“[K]ey clone devices have been utilized in many newer model Camaro thefts,” the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said in the statement. “These devices are about the size of a cell phone and area programming tool that picks up the signal of a key fob nearby which the device then clones.”

The Gang Enforcement Detail (GED) belonging to LAPD’s Newton Community Police Station arrested a juvenile allegedly in possession of such a device, the statement noted.

“This young person was stealing the Camaros and taking them to street takeovers and then selling them for $2,000 or $3,000 on social media,” Newton Division Capt. Keith Green told the Los Angeles Times. “A 16-year-old was capable of stealing high-end cars.”

The police spotted the suspect and another teenager fleeing a Camaro they had abandoned and arrested them, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“In 2023, seven Camaros were stolen city-wide and, year-to-date, there have been 90 Camaros stolen,” bringing the percentage increase in the thefts to 1,285% Los Angeles-wide, according to the statement.

Newton area itself has witnessed a 500% jump in Camaro thefts, from two in all of 2023 to 10 from Jan. 2024 to date, the statement noted. (RELATED: Blue City Hands Out Vehicle ‘Tracking Tags’ To Residents Because People Keep Getting Their Cars Stolen)

Youths involved in illegal street racing, burnouts and “donuts” in street takeovers appear to favor the Chevrolet Camaro, going by the results of a search conducted on the LAPD’s Newsroom database. A Camaro lost control during a large street takeover late on Christmas Day of 2022, killing one and injuring six or seven others, at least three of them critically, the LAPD said in a Jan. 2023 press release. The suspect fled the scene and even after the collision, two vehicles continued performing “donuts”, the LAPD said.

Illegal street racing in Los Angeles and other San Fernando Valley cities and neighborhoods is a problem “dating back to the 1960s, with spectators numbering over 400 at times, the LAPD said. “Getting these drivers and their cars off the street will save lives,” the LAPD added.

Illegal street racing imposes so much wear and tear on the vehicles that participants prefer to use stolen vehicles, the police reportedly told the Los Angeles Times.

LAPD detectives advised Camaro owners not to keep their key fobs in their vehicles, but rather to keep them in security cases available on the market or in tin cans or aluminum foils to prevent signal transmission to a key clone device, according to the statement.

Victims of Camaro thefts possibly facilitated by cloning devices and anyone with useful information may reach out to contacts provided in the LAPD statement.