EPD Works to Prevent Vehicle Theft

EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene police are still looking for the man who crashed a stolen car into a utility pole Easter weekend.

James Naylor remains at large. Police say he crashed a Nissan into the pole on Royal Avenue and fled the scene.

Crime prevention specialists continue to get the word out on how to prevent a thief from stealing your car with an affordable device.

Andrew McCanns oversees a 48-unit apartment complex near the University of Oregon. Surveillance cameras help him keep on eye on who’s coming and going. His office desk is rigged to watch them.

He also walks the premise including the garage where a car was stolen two months. What’s frustrating to McCann is he believes it could have been prevented. He’s a big advocate of locking his car along with his steering wheel.

McCann got his first anti-vehicle theft device three years ago.

“Forty dollars was my orginal one, and it was just because I didn’t want my car stolen,” McCann said.

In 2009, stolen vehicles became a serious problem for the city of Eugene.

“Eugene was rated number one in the state of Oregon and 20th in the nation for auto theft. So we had a problem, and we had to come up with some ideas,” said Debbie Janecek, EPD crime prevention.

The Eugene Police Department teamed with the maker of the club which offers a law enforcement program.

“They can sell the to us at a real low cost, and we can in turn sell them to the community,” Janecek said.

Debbie Janecek works in crime prevention. She says the club acts as both a visual deterrent and a physical one too. And they work.

“We have not been able to come up with a single vehicle that’s been stolen with a club properly installed,” Janecek said.

So far, EPD has sold almost 1,600. The cost is just $12.50. They can picked up at EPD headquarters.

McCann’s already taken advantage of the program.

“And I ran right up there and bought four of them. Put one on my other truck,” McCann said.

And he’s given others to tenants. For car owners, it’s is an extra step.

“You get used to it. It’s simple. It becomes automatic,” McCann said.

As McCann points a small inconvenient is a lot better than the alternative.

“You risk losing your car. It’s as simple as that,” McCann said.

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