Man's car stolen twice in one week as thieves target Subarus
Recent data from Anchorage Police shows car thefts in Anchorage are on track to beat last year's record high, and now APD is warning Alaskans about the latest trend involving Subarus.
They say late model '90s Subarus are now the car of choice for thieves who've figured out an easy way to access them.
"For whatever reason, the thieves that had been going after the Chevy products -- which we suspect it's because a majority of them are locked up and in jail either through federal indictment or through the partnership we have with the District Attorneys Office -- now we're seeing kind of a different group of people that are stepping forward, filling that void if you will, and they're products that they choose to steal, they've developed a skill set that is, are the Subarus," said Anchorage Police Detective Sgt. Ty Witte.
Witte says the thieves are able to access the Subarus using filed down keys, sometimes called "bump keys" or "wiggle keys." The older models are particularly susceptible to the method because they lack an electronic chip implemented in newer vehicles.
It's a trend Hunter Woofter now understands all too well after his 1999 Subaru Legacy was taken last Tuesday from the parking lot of Rustic Goat, where he works as a server.
Surveillance footage shows a red vehicle coming and going from the parking lot, then parking near Woofter's car. Two people get out and take turns standing at the driver door. Within minutes, one of them gains access to the vehicle, and shortly after that Woofter's car is seen leaving the parking lot, with the red vehicle right behind it.
By Friday, the car had been recovered-- only to disappear again Monday.
"When I went to go to work, my car was not in its parking spot," explained Woofter, after getting off the phone with his insurance company.
Woofter credits his girlfriend for finding his car the second time, after driving the streets of Anchorage until she spotted it in Mountain View.
He's hoping the saga ends here-- with two thefts, two recoveries, and now, two insurance deductibles to pay.
Meanwhile, Michelle Anderson is still waiting for her 1994 Subaru Legacy to be found. The red car with the license plate DSB670 that Anderson affectionately refers to as "Sasha" was stolen from her apartment complex parking lot on Thursday.
"Help me find Sasha," she pleaded, adding that the response from Facebook users has been comforting.
Photos of her car posted on social media since the theft show two people inside, but she still doesn't know where Sasha is, and even if she does get her car back, that may not give her back peace of mind.
"If I get my car back, what if they just come right back over and steal it again?"
While Anderson anxiously hopes for her car's recovery, Woofter is dealing with the aftermath of his theft experiences.
He says now he'll be installing added security measures and urges everyone else to do the same.
"How many layers of locks do people have to put on their possessions?" he said, adding that he is now paranoid that his other belongings will be stolen. "I love Alaska and Anchorage and this community, and it breaks my heart to see this happening. I feel like the city is burning sometimes."
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