MEDFORD (CBS) – Thieves are stealing air bags from cars in Medford, and one particular vehicle is being targeted. Police are warning Honda Accord owners to be on the lookout after a rash of recent break-ins.

A Facebook post from police Tuesday stated that the break-ins have been happening in the overnight hours over the past few weeks in different parts of the city. They said thieves usually break a car window, then rip out the air bag from the driver’s side, and sometimes the passenger side as well.

Eddie Robbins’ reaction was “not again” when he saw his car window smashed and his air bag gone.

“About three years ago, maybe four, it also happened to another Honda I had,” he said. “They stole the air bags and smashed the windows – same procedure.”

Why are thieves stealing air bags? According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, they’re a hot commodity on the black market. A new air bag from a car dealer retails for about $1,000, but costs between $50 and $200 on the black market. It’s estimated that about 50,000 air bags are stolen every year.

“It could be a $3,000 repair,” said Bobby Cobb, general manager at Today’s Collision Repair Centers in Malden where Robbins’ car is being fixed. “Honda is a popular car.”

It’s unclear why Honda Accords are being targeted, but police are asking people to be vigilant and watch out for strange cars or people that may be casing a car. Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call Medford police.

 

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