'I was one of six vehicles.' Thieves targeting steering wheels in Chevy Malibu's, police say

Posted at 5:36 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 07:16:52-04

(WXYZ) — There's a unique crime wave that has been hitting metro Detroit and that's airbag thefts.

Police say thieves are stealing steering wheels out of cars. Specifically, the 2017-2021 Chevy Malibu.

RELATED: Thieves targeting steering wheels in one Chevy model across metro Detroit

Police have been alerting the public of these acts for months.

Sarah Bailey of metro Detroit is a victim of this type of steering wheel theft. She said she originally thought her 19-year-old child had left her car window down in the rain.

"Then I looked a little closer and saw the windows were busted out," she said.

Her steering wheel was gone and police told her she wasn't the only one affected.

"When officers came they said I was one of six vehicles just down this road," Bailey said.

The one thing all these cars had in common was the fact that they were all of Chevy Malibu's.

Allen Park Police Detective James Thornborn says it's happening too often. Royal Oak, Dearborn, and Detroit Police are also investigating similar crimes.

Over at a local repair shop, getting a new steering wheel is the hot ticket item and the problem is a double-edged sword.

"They're just not out there, ya know, to get because everybody needs them," owner of Down River Collision Greg Vizacharo said.

He says victims are digging deep into their pockets as a new steering wheel with an airbag costs up to $2,000. Then, because of supply shortages, drivers are waiting at least a month on parts

Allen Park Police say they will deploy extra patrols in hopes of catching thieves in action.

To help prevent thefts like this, police suggest parking your car in a garage or in a well-lit area near a security camera to help deter them.