Q Merry Christmas. Particularly to the person who stole my car from the front of my house on Christmas Day between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. I hope you enjoy the two bags of cat food, three cases of soda, my 10-year collection of CDs, the iPhone amplifier, the C sticker which will let you park in the county parking lot and my 24-hour fitness pass as well as $200 worth of Christmas presents that were in the trunk.
To everyone else, if you see a 1999 green Honda Civic with MARMOBL plates, please call police.
A To the zillions of Roadshow faithful, we need to find Margaret's car or the thieves
Here's more of the story. Margaret went to Safeway to get three more potatoes for her special Christmas mashed potatoes, returning home at 10 a.m. and locking her car. Three hours later she went out to get some Perrier water in the trunk and found her car gone. Police told her that '90s Hondas are among the most stolen cars now because they are needed for parts. She is hoping her car was just taken for a joy ride, but her insurance company did not hold out much hope.
Vehicle thefts fell 1.3 percent
Q Gary, I was out walking on a recent chilly morning and counted a half-dozen cars idling unattended in their driveways by owners who I assume wanted to jump into a warm car. People who do this are just asking for their cars to be stolen.
A Yes, they are. Police say leaving the engine running on a locked car is a big target for thieves, who often cruise neighborhoods looking for an easy target. It takes just a second to break a window and zip off.
Here are other tips police offer to ward off car thieves:
Q I just want to warn people who park at the Hayward BART station. My 1997 Toyota 4 Runner was parked there from about 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. one day and someone stole the catalytic converter. It was parked at the end of an aisle near the street. Just wanted to send a warning.
Q Catalytic converters are sometimes a target for thieves not because of the part itself, but because they can contain the metals platinum, palladium, rhodium or gold, which can be worth several hundred dollars per ounce.
You can get devices that lock the converter in place with a series of cables running back and forth around it. While not a perfect solution, this does make it harder and more time-consuming for a thief to remove the converter.
Toyota trucks and older SUVs are prime targets because thieves can easily get beneath the truck and the method of mounting the catalytic convert allows relatively fast, quiet removal.
Q About the time the barriers were put up for construction at Montague Expressway and Interstate 880 the left metering light stopped working. Now those of us in the next lane where the meter is working have to merge with high-speed traffic buzzing by the broken light. This is further confounded by darkness and the construction jumble, which makes identification of the cars we must avoid difficult. Can we please either fix the broken light or turn the functional one off?
A The light should be turned back on soon. Thieves made off with the wiring.