Just Don't Steal The Gas Pedal

"No radio, no valuables," say the signs in cars parked on city streets. Maybe the owners' worries are misplaced. These days, safety airbags are the hot ticket item for car thieves and "chop shop" operators. No one keeps statistics on the number of air-bag thefts, but insurance executives say there has been a sharp increase in such claims. "Thieves are taking the whole steering column out of the car and reselling it on the illegal parts market," says John Maes, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, an industry group.

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