For a seventh consecutive year, auto thefts declined in Michigan in 2013, according to the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) annual report.
Statewide there were 24,369 reported auto thefts in 2013, a 2.4 percent drop from the previous year. In Detroit, there were 11,990 car thefts in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012.
Terri Miller, executive director of Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.), Michigan’s statewide auto theft prevention program, said she expects an increased focus on auto theft and carjacking by Detroit Police Chief James Craig to result in lower numbers for Detroit in next year’s report.
She attributes some of the statewide decline to improved policing and increased cooperation between police and prosecutors.
“Public education programs and tip lines like the one operated by H.E.A.T. are also major factors in the steady decline of auto thefts inMichigan since the mid ’80s,” she said. Since 1986, auto thefts in the state have declined 66.2 percent and 42.8 percent nationally.
Since H.E.A.T. was founded in 1985, the organization has recorded about 10,400 tips and paid out more than $4 million. In 2014, the organization paid out more than $92,000 in tips, which led to the recovery of 79 vehicles and $940,000 in stolen property.
H.E.A.T. tipsters are rewarded with:
- Up to $1,000 for the arrest and warrant of individuals suspected of auto theft, auto theft-related insurance fraud and/or auto theft related identity theft.
- $2,000 for the arrest and warrant of a carjacking suspect.
- Up to $10,000 for the arrest and binding over for trial of suspected theft ring members and/or chop shop operators.
Anonymous tips can be submitted 24/7 by calling 1-800-242-HEAT or by visiting www.1800242HEAT.com.
H.E.A.T. works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to follow-up on tips. Tipsters are awarded up to $1,000 if the tip leads to the arrest of or issuance of a warrant for a suspected car thief or a person suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud. H.E.A.T. rewards up to $2,000 for information leading to the issuance of a warrant for a carjacking suspect. Rewards of up to $10,000 are issued if a tip results in the arrest and binding over for trial of a suspected theft ring or chop shop operators. The H.E.A.T. tip line is monitored by the Michigan State Police and funded by Michigan’s auto insurance companies.