Nationwide Insurance donates bait cars to the Charleston Police Department
Nationwide’s bait cars have resulted in more than 150 arrests and reductions in auto thefts by up to 35 percent in cities across the country
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 24, 2009
Charley Gillespie (614)-249-5701
Charleston PD contact:
Charles Francis (843) 720-2497
Charleston, SC — According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a car is stolen in the United States every 25 seconds. To catch auto thieves and protect local residents from theft, Nationwide Insurance has provided bait vehicles to the Charleston Police Department.
“If you are thinking about stealing a car in Charleston, think twice,” said Police Chief Gregory Mullen. “Thieves don’t know which cars are bait cars and which are not. The cars are equipped with surveillance equipment and GPS, and better yet, we have the ability to shut the car off remotely making it easy for our officers to apprehend the suspects.”
Charleston metropolitan area is #102 on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual vehicle theft “hot spot” list of 361 metropolitan regions in the U.S. According to the NICB, there were 1,991 cars stolen last year in the Charleston metropolitan area – up 5 percent from 2007.
To help catch car thieves, Nationwide has provided 45 bait vehicles to police departments across the country resulting in more than 150 arrests and contributing to reductions in auto thefts ranging from 12 percent to 35 percent in cities where implemented. Nationwide presented the “bait cars” today to the police department at a ceremony at the Charleston Police Department Headquarters.
Bait vehicles are standard, unmarked cars that are used by law enforcement to apprehend car thieves. The vehicles are outfitted with special equipment such as GPS tracking and remote-control immobilizers that allow officers to monitor the vehicle and seize suspects without engaging in a vehicle pursuit.
“Vehicle thefts present a significant threat to our policyholders, our communities and our law enforcement officers,” said Pete Van Patten from Nationwide’s Special Investigation Unit. “We work to provide law enforcement with bait vehicles because they have shown to be a highly successful method of reducing these thefts.”
Nationwide’s bait vehicle program is supported by industry partners – including Pro-Tex Auto Refinishing and LKQ/Keystone Automotive -- who donate the parts and service necessary to repair the vehicles.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.