Greenwood: Imports, pickups coveted by crooks

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Do you drive an import or good ol’ made-in-the-USA pickup truck?

You’d better keep an eye on it.

According to a just released report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), imports and pickup trucks were the most popular vehicles stolen in 2014.

Here’s the break down of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. last year, from No. 1 to No. 10.

■ Honda Accord, 51,290.

■ Honda Civic, 43,936.

■ Ford pickup (full size), 28,680.

■ Chevrolet pickup (full size), 23,196.

■ Toyota Camry, 14,605.

■ Dodge pickup (full size), 11,075.

■ Dodge Caravan, 10,483.

■ Nissan Altima, 9,109.

■ Acura Integra 6,902.

■ Nissan Maxima 6,586.

The Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) and the NICB suggests four layers of protection to prevent becoming a victim: lock your vehicle and take your keys with you; utilize warning devices such as car alarms; use immobilizing devices like kill switches and smart keys; install a tracking device in your vehicle that can help police track down your vehicle.

Incidentally, ATPA auto theft teams recovered 4,198 stolen vehicles — worth approximately $36 million — in 2014.

Time to throw an “attaboy” to a sharp-eyed employee of the Michigan Secretary of State who recently noticed that something seemed a little wonky about forms submitted by a Genesee County auto dealer.

The dealer had purchased a number of vehicles from Canada that our cousins to the north had declared as unfit to drive.

(According to the SOS, auto dealers often buy salvage cars with the idea of repairing them or using the parts to repair other vehicles.

Before they can be returned to the road, the cars must pass a safety inspection by a police officer who also checks to make sure the vehicles aren’t stolen.)

Except this auto dealer decided to skip that time consuming officer part and allegedly forged a police officers name on the forms and then submitted them to the SOS.

The auto dealer, Barry Church of Church and Sons in Burton, has been charged with seven counts of forgery and uttering and publishing, each a 14-year felony.

(313) 222-2023

I-75: In Detroit, NB and SB will have two lanes closed from Clark to Springwells from 7 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.

I-75: In Detroit, the NB and SB ramps to WB I-94 will close for bridge work from 9 tonight until 10 a.m. Sunday.

I-94: In Detroit, the WB ramp to Beaubien and Woodward will be closed from 9 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.

I-96/M-14: In Livonia, the EB ramp to SB I-275 will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

I-275: In Canton Township, the right two lanes of SB will be closed at Ford (M-153) from 10 p.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday. From 3 a.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Sunday the right lane only will be closed at Ford. I-275: In Livonia the NB ramp to EB I-96 will be closed from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 p.m. Sunday.

M-39 (Southfield Freeway): In Detroit, the right lane of SB will be closed from Chicago Boulevard to Joy from 4 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday.

M-59 (Hall Road): In Utica, EB and WB will have one lane closed at Van Dyke from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday for lighting work.

M-150 (Rochester Road): In Rochester Hills, NB and SB will have the right lane closed from M-59 to Avon from 8 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.

U.S. 24 (Telegraph): In Dearborn, NB will have the right lane closed at Ford from 10 a.m. today until 5 a.m. Monday.

Telegraph: In Bloomfield Hills, NB will have two lanes closed from Long Lake Road to U.S. 24 Business Route from 9 tonight until 8 p.m. Monday.