Forget stealing cars, desperate thieves turning to bumpers

[lin_video src=×2&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1371787877&height=510&page_count=5&pf_id=9619&show_title=1&va_id=4106880&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=510 div_id=videoplayer-1371787877 type=script]Call it a sign of car thieves getting desperate.

Call it a sign of car thieves getting desperate.

Now, even your back bumper can be taken and in some cases, it’s easy to do.

Experts say pickup trucks are the likely targets. Auto parts stores say it’s not common, but it happens.

It’s not just the bumper that the thieves want.

Marina Lafaele woke up one morning to find her dad’s Nissan Frontier missing a very important part.

“Yes that is correct. It’s crazy. Just a bumper,” Lafaele said.

She found out something even crazier when she reported it to Honolulu Police.

“They said that they usually steal bumpers to do crimes with the license plates, safety checks. They put it on their car. It’s just a random thing,” Lafaele said.

When it comes to pickup trucks, apparently it doesn’t take a lot of skill to steal the bumpers.

“Pretty easy unfortunately, a couple of hand tools and a guy to help you, be off in ten minutes,” Punchbowl Fender Works’ Travis Fukumitsu said.

Replacing one isn’t cheap.

“It adds up quick, a thousand bucks easy” Fukumitsu said.

Thieves used to steal safety stickers years ago just by peeling them off the bumpers, but the stickers now become void after they’re peeled.

So it’s possible they’re stealing bumpers to get the safety stickers because it’s easy enough to do.

“I think they just need the bumper, they smashed their truck, the bumper being expensive and being that it’s so easy to take it off, they probably just do it in the middle of the night and they have a new bumper the next day,” Fukumitsu said.

So for the car owner, it can be costly and inconvenient. You can’t drive around without a bumper, license plate, and a safety sticker.

“Illegal, so a cop can pull you over you can get a ticket, so we need to get a new bumper in order to drive it around,” Lafaele said.

Fukumitsu suggests backing your pickup truck against the wall when you park so it’s harder for thieves to steal the bumper.

Along with bumpers, the tailgates are also being stolen, but there’s a lock you can get for those.

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