Nationwide, Ohio Cops Team in Bait Op to Stop Auto Thefts

Ohio authorities are initiating a statewide operation using technology-equipped vehicles to bait—then catch—car thieves, through a partnership between Nationwide Insurance and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).

According to the OSHP, cars used in the operation will contain video surveillance, vehicle shut-off and GPS-tracking technologies.

Nationwide said that it sponsored the operation because it was successful elsewhere.

“We repeatedly discuss the importance of using technology to stay one step ahead of criminals who seek to disrupt the lives of our customers and communities,” Dave Bano, Nationwide’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “We are committed to crime prevention programs such as bait cars.”

Col. Paul Pride, OSHP’s superintendent, said authorities will put bait cars in communities across Ohio in the following weeks and months and are publicizing the effort to deter thieves from even trying to steal a vehicle.

“If you are thinking about stealing a car in Ohio, think twice,” Pride said. “Thieves don’t know which cars are bait cars and which are not. Troopers will not only know when one of these vehicles has been stolen, but they will also have the ability to shut the car off remotely, making it easy for officers to apprehend the suspects.”

Ohio authorities said that the initiative will help them battle car thefts that the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimated had grown in number across the U.S. in 2012 compared to 2011. The 1.3 percent jump was the first nationwide increase in the so-called Hot Spots report in nearly a decade.

Unfortunate Ohioans who find their vehicle swiped by a thief can rely on the comprehensive portion of their Ohio auto insurance policy. This kind of policy protects drivers against instances of theft, fire, weather- and animal-related damage.

The NICB’s annual report categorizes by metropolitan areas and, according to the latest report released in June, Ohio’s metropolitan areas with the highest theft rates are:

  • Cleveland-Elyria
  • Toledo
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Canton-Massillon
About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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