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Northeast side apartment residents fall victims to auto-related thefts, IMPD provides solutions

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-06 12:31:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Neighbors at an apartment complex on Indy’s northeast side are concerned about a recent string of auto-related thefts in their community.

Harbour Pointe residents tell WRTV car parts like tires and catalytic converters have been taken from vehicles parked in front of their homes.

WRTV reached out to the Ardizzone Group, which manages the apartment complex, to ask about why this may be.

A representative sent us this statement via email:

"We are aware that this issue has occurred on occasion but not aware of there being an influx of these incidents occurring. We do have proactive patrols at all of our properties to include Harbour Pointe in effort to deter criminal activity."

But for four-year-long resident Kiersten Hawkins, privacy and security are top concerns.

She and her husband walked outside their home at Wednesday morning to find they'd been targeted.

“The front left tire on my husbands vehicle was gone. The bolts were on the ground. Then there was radiator fluid leaking in the front," Hawkins said. “Other residents, including a friend of ours, his converter was taken off of his vehicle. I think he had his firearm taken out of his vehicle.”

And now she’s concerned she’s gonna have to foot the bill.

“Now we have to figure out: is insurance gonna cover this? We don’t know. The radiator being cracked. We haven’t had it looked at just yet. We don’t know what the cost is gonna look like for us.”

As a solution, Hawkins says she'd like to see courtesy officers at night, increased patrols, security cameras and manned gates at the entrances.

WRTV reached out to Indianapolis Metro Police about this string of thefts.

Lt. Shane Foley tells us he’s unaware of specific incidents involving catalytic converters or tires in that neighborhood and explains why that might be.

“Our reporting system doesn’t specifically list catalytic converters, otherwise you’d have to list every single part of a vehicle and that’s just not how the system works."

But Lt. Foley says he always wants to educate the public about IMPD’s Catalytic Converter Initiative, in partnership with Jiffy Lube.

At more than 50 locations across Indiana, people can get their catalytic converters spray painted and engraved with their VIN number.

“Something like that helps to discourage somebody from taking the catalytic converter. What are you gonna do with one that’s painted and has a VIN number engraved on it?" he said.

Thieves commonly steal these car parts to a scrap yard to trade in for some easy cash.

These thefts are quick — and can take as little as 30 seconds.

Lt. Foley says that’s why you should be wise about where you leave your vehicle.

“Park the vehicle in an area that’s very visible for other people. Park in an area that’s well lit. Park in a secure location if you can, such as a garage.”