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Car theft up sharply in Antelope Valley; Hondas are top target

February 26, 2013 | 12:26 pm

Theft of vehicles in Antelope Valley neighborhoods and business districts has surged since the beginning of the year, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.

The Lancaster and Palmdale sheriff's stations have arrested an undisclosed number of car thieves, resulting in the shutdown of several so-called “chop shops” in the area, the department said in a statement this week. Chop shops are used to dismantle vehicles so that various parts, such as the seats, engine and scrap metal, can be sold individually, authorities said.

Hondas are by far the most commonly pinched cars in the Antelope Valley, accounting for more than a third of all stolen vehicles, sheriff's officials said.

They urged car owners to take precautions, such as not leaving their vehicles to warm up in the driveway, making sure all doors are locked and windows are rolled up when leaving the vehicles, and parking in well-lit areas of business districts.

Anyone with information about a car theft in the area is asked to call the Palmdale sheriff’s station at 661-272-2400. Tips can also be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.