MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are searching for a man who, they said, stole an airbag from a car in a Miami parking garage.
Nigel Reyes has had airbags stolen from his Acura TL twice in less than a month.
Both incidents happened while his car was parked in the same parking garage, located on Northwest 21st Street, near Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Reyes’ airbag was first stolen on Dec. 30.
“After that, had my dash camera installed in the car,” said Reyes.
Reyes said the airbag was stolen again on Jan. 12.
The dash camera, mounted in the front of the Acura, captured crisp video of the thief, seen wearing a red hoodie, as he broke into the car and stole the airbag.
“It took less than four minutes to break into my car and steal the airbag,” said Reyes.
The perpetrator wore gloves, but his face was clearly captured.
Reyes had to pay another $500 for his deductible.
“I’m hoping that this individual is caught,” said Reyes. “They definitely make a career out of this.”
Police said they are seeing a spike in this type of crime, with airbags specifically being stolen at an alarming rate out of Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras.
“We began seeing a problem amongst Toyotas and Hondas, but now, they’ve increased, and now, Acuras are also becoming a market for these people to just randomly steal them,” said Miami Police Officer Kenia Fallat.
Reyes invested in a steering wheel lock, and police say it’s a great idea for drivers concerned they’re going to become airbag thieves’ next victim.
They also recommend parking in secured, well-lit parking lots that have security cameras at night.
Officials said the thieves can get top dollar for selling the car’s safety part.
“What we don’t know is if this man is also the suspect in other cases,” said Fallat.
“This is seriously a problem for people in the area,” said Reyes. “People here, myself included, don’t necessarily make all that much. To have to go and pay my deductible twice is a bit difficult.”
Now the victim hopes police are able to put the brakes on this airbag thief. “I’m hoping that this individual is caught,” he said. “They definitely make a career out of this.”
If you have any information on these thefts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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