Car Dealerships Step Up Security After Air Bag Thefts - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Car Dealerships Step Up Security After Air Bag Thefts

Updated: Aug 1, 2013 06:38 PM

It's been happening at dealerships across the QCA, air bags stolen from cars right off the lot, costing dealerships several thousand dollars. 

"We were walking the lot, and we discovered one car that didn't have an air bag in it so we kind of knew to start checking every car," Mills Chevrolet Sales Manager Chad Ingwersen says. 

Mills Chevrolet in Moline is just one of about a half dozen who've fallen victim. 

"We checked everyone one of them and found about a dozen cars that were missing air bags," Ingwersen said of the incident that happened last spring. 

"If they're collecting 20 of these a night somewhere, someone's making a good living off of that," he says. 

But the same can't be said for these businesses. 

"It's frustrating, we're trying to feed people, we're trying to help families keep money in their pockets and it's not easy to do that," Key Auto Mall General Manager Randy Allison says, "There's no insurance for that, you have to pay for it every claim, so it's a problem." 

Key Auto Mall lost nine air bags last spring too. 

And with news of the thefts happening again, QCA dealerships are on high alert. 

"We kind of network and let each other know when stuff's going on like that so we keep an eye out for it," Ingwersen says. 

With dozens of vehicles out on the lot at any given time, it's hard to monitor them all at once. But local dealerships have stepped up security and are asking police to increase patrols to help stop this from happening. 

"Once that happened it was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back and did invest in the security and have cameras put in," Ingwersen says. 

Others are keeping lights on overnight and cars easily visible.  

"We started moving our inventory in different directions that would be more seen from the front of the road, thinking people will be less likely to want to be seen after hours doing that," Allison says. 

But they're looking for help from passersby too.  

"If customers and general public would see people in cars after hours, opening doors, it is suspicious and shouldn't be done," Allison says, "They should feel free to call someone." 

Hoping someone will see something before it happens again.

To read more about these air bag thefts, here's an earlier KWQC story: Rash of Air Bag Thefts In QCA