Thieves are targeting newer model Chevy Malibus in St. Clair Shores, stealing the steering wheels for their airbags.

Thieves are targeting newer model Chevy Malibus in St. Clair Shores, stealing the steering wheels for their airbags.

Shutterstock photo


Police investigating steering wheel thefts in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 14, 2022

Advertisement

St. Clair Shores Police are investigating a string of steering wheel thefts from newer model Chevrolet Malibus that occurred at the end of December.

Reports included that of a 29-year-old Sterling Heights woman, who said her steering wheel was stolen between 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 22. The woman’s vehicle had been parked in the 29000 block of Elmgrove Street. There were no signs of forced entry, but the interior of her vehicle was in disarray. Nothing but the steering wheel was taken in that instance.

In the 22000 block of Grossdale Street, a 39-year-old woman called police the morning of Dec. 22 after discovering the back window of her Malibu was smashed out. Her steering wheel and steering column were missing. 

Detective Jennifer Spangler said Jan. 13 that the department had received nine reports of other Malibus with missing steering columns over the period of Dec. 22-23 on Harper Lake, Grand Lake and Benjamin streets and then, a couple days later, a few more reports came in from the Woodbridge Condominiums near Eight Mile Road and Beaconsfield. 

“The reason that they’re stealing the steering wheels is, they’re getting the airbags out and reselling them,” she said. “It’s on the newer models. They’re even breaking people’s back windows in order to get in.”

Security video in one case showed what looked like a dark SUV, potentially a Jeep, at the scene. Spangler said video could help the department catch the suspect or suspects.

“Cameras are not as expensive as they used to be and do help us in trying to identify suspects,” she said. 

In some cases, the thieves are taking more than just the steering wheels.

“If they happen to have that kind of car, (police recommend they) don’t leave anything of value in there because they do take items of value, as well,” she said.

Advertisement