SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Acres of cars were all lined up at Sacramento International Airport with owners long gone on a plane out of town — and it created the perfect backdrop for thieves.
“I hate to say it, but you’re taking a chance with a thousand cars here and hopefully yours isn’t one of them,” Mike Moss said.
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Moss returned from his trip with his car in one piece, but the other travelers did not. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested five suspects this week after they were caught with about half a dozen stolen catalytic converters from cars parked in Sacramento International Airport’s economy parking lot.
“I’m a bit worried because my car is going to be here. So it’s worrying, how safe is it? said traveler Diana. “And, beware, the cars are sometimes here for days, so we don’t know.”
“We trust the airport to park our cars here, so we should definitely have a bit of security,” Chris Vidal said.
So how secure is your car when you take off for a flight?
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CBS13 receives answers from airport officials. Airport spokesman Scott Johnston said the economy lot has four cameras where flights have taken place. The airport also works with a parking contractor to monitor suspicious activity and an airport dispatch center has direct contact with sheriff’s deputies.
“There is a team of full-time assistants working at the airport. They employ security guards. Sure, you can say everyone should have more, but I think it’s about vigilance,” the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office sergeant said. Rod Grassman. “I would tell you this, it’s a problem that could be fixed by the automakers.”
sergeant. Grassmann points to a false sense of security in a paid public lot but also the fact that the automotive industry sells cars without securing catalytic converters.
“So if people really want to point fingers, that’s where they need to point fingers,” said Sgt. Grassman.
“I feel violated for anyone whose cars have been stripped of parts. I mean it’s a horrible thing to come here after a trip and find their cars damaged,” Moss said.
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Given the high cost of catalytic converters, thieves face theft charges.