Letter: Speak out to stop auto theft

Re: The Detroit News’ Dec. 4 editorial, “Keep working to lower insurance rates”: While I applaud your editorial celebrating the falling auto theft rate in the city of Detroit, it omitted one of the most important ways Detroiters can help their friends, families and neighbors keep their vehicles.

Speaking out.

Since 1985, Help Eliminate Auto Thefts has encouraged citizens statewide to do just that through our anonymous, confidential tip line (1-800-242-HEAT). In partnership with law enforcement agencies statewide, H.E.A.T. has received more 10,000 tips, resulting in 3,700 arrests and the recovery of more than $58 million in stolen property.

In 2005, there were 20,000 auto thefts in the city, compared to just 9,000 so far this year, so great progress has been made. However, if Detroiters want their insurance rates to drop, we’re going to have to do even more, and while whole vehicle and vehicle component theft (a growing problem, by the way) aren’t the only reasons Detroiters pay 165 percent more than the national average for auto insurance, they’re significant ones.

By using the H.E.A.T. tip line and putting even more thieves behind bars we can all drive Detroit’s auto theft rate even lower and in the process save ourselves some money and improve the city we love.

Terri Miller

executive director

Help Eliminate Auto Thefts