In the past few years, the rate of cars reported stolen in Louisiana has taken a huge drop: 42 percent from 2006 to last year. The reasons why mean good news for everyone who pays for insurance against car theft, but bad news for people who try to steal cars.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says not only are more cars coming with vehicle trackers as standard equipment, more police department are employing automatic license plate readers.. They can scan license plate numbers while officers are on patrol, and alert them whenever it reads the plates of a vehicle reported stolen.
"And then they're pulled over, they're in jail, and facing a serious felony theft charge," said Donelon.
Donelon said word is getting out that stealing cars is becoming more trouble than it's worth, not just by word-of-mouth among criminals, but also through education programs aimed at teaching at-risk kids just how risky it is to try your hand at car theft.
"It's a true gateway crime for young folks that we are proactively educating them to the risk and to the consequences of such activity," said Donelon.