ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A wave of car thefts in Roseville is prompting the police department to arm citizens with a special tool.
Officers started the Club Giveaway Project earlier this week, giving citizens the opportunity to pick-up anti-theft devices that lock steering wheels.
“I heard about a lot of car thefts in my neighborhood so that’s one of the reasons why I got this,” said Matthew Dzida, who lives in Roseville.
Dzida was one of the first people in line at the Roseville Police Department after he heard about the project.
“It’s free it couldn’t hurt,” Dzida said.
Dzida drives a 1996 Toyota Camry, one of several rides high on law enforcement’s list for stolen cars.
“It’s been vandalized a few times and I’ve seen a few shady people around it,” added Dzida.
According to Roseville Police, car thefts rose by almost 30-percent over the last year.
They say 40-percent of car thefts in the city are of older sedans like the Honda Civic and Accord, Toyota Camry and Acura Integra.
“They’re not looking for the best car in the lot, they’re looking for the quickest ride.” Said DeeDee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department.
Roseville Police are now turning to an old trick, hoping to lock up an emerging trend.
“A thief will see the club on the steering wheel and say, ‘oh no that’s gonna be too hard, too much work’,” Gunther said.
But police say the clubs aren’t 100-percent fool proof.
A thief could break through with a hacksaw if he had the time and privacy.
“But those aren’t the kind of thieves we are targeting; we want the quick opportunistic ones,” Gunther added.
Opportunistic thieves like the ones who stole Jasmine Aldrid’s father’s car right from his driveway.
“Someone was just trying to buy milk and just stole it,” Aldrid said.
Aldrid’s father did get his car back, but police say that’s not always the case.
Roseville Police say the giveaway was so successful, they ran out of the clubs on Friday.
They say they plan on ordering more, to keep the program going.
Sacramento Police hosted a similar giveaway earlier this year to also bring awareness to community.