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Car thieves targeting older model Hondas in the Treasure Valley

Could this uptick in Hondas stolen throughout the Treasure Valley be just the tip of the iceberg, revealing a much bigger criminal operation? (CBS 2 Photo)

Nampa Police are investigating a string of car thefts targeting a specific vehicle make — Hondas.

Hondas are an easy target, according to Nampa Police, because thieves are able to craft generic keys that can be used to pick the locks and even start the ignitions of Hondas made during the mid 90s to early 2000s.

A Nampa family reached out to CBS 2 News, all-too-familiar with this trend.

Derek Bloom's car was stolen without a trace from the street outside of his home in Nampa.

"[The] doors were locked, windows up, everything like that," said Derek. "I went to bed one night [and] came out the morning after and it was just gone."

He thought it was gone for good until Nampa Police called saying they found his car dropped off in a neighborhood several blocks away.

Although, this story doesn't exactly have a happy ending.

According to Derek, his entire sound system was torn out and several parts of his vehicle were exchanged.

"Everything's gone out of it," Derek said looking down at his car. "This was one of the only things I've actually paid for myself. I have been through a lot of stuff. It's a shame to see a lot of it just gone. The car is trashed. Everything. So, I mean, don't get it. I just don't get it."

There were a few things left behind that Derek said don't belong to him. Unfortunately, detectives said that this evidence isn't quite enough to track down the thief, who will likely strike again — targeting another Honda.

"Most of the vehicles that I have seen come across my desk in the last month or so have been Hondas," said Sgt. Oren McGuire with Nampa PD's Criminal Investigation Division.

Sgt. McGuire tells CBS 2 he is currently working to figure out if this is just a coincidence because Hondas are so easily accessed or if it's just the tip of the iceberg revealing a much bigger criminal operation.

"It's difficult to put that together, especially since most chop shops tear the cars apart and discard the stuff that marks the car as belonging to someone else," said Sgt. McGuire.

According to Sgt. McGuire, the criminals in these cases have it down to a science. They sell the parts on the streets, so their steps cannot be traced. But, Nampa PD isn't giving up on pinpointing exactly who's behind this.

"I am keeping track of all the similar type vehicles that are being taken, just in case I can put them together or we are establishing to the point that we do have a ring of chop shops that we need to go out and try to take down," said Sgt. McGuire. "We haven't completely given up any hope of catching somebody at this point."

Sgt. McGuire said there are a few things that can be done to prevent your car from being stolen in the meantime if think it might be at risk:

  1. Park it inside of a garage if you have the ability to.
  2. Have your car re-keyed.
  3. Use a boot on your car's tire.
  4. Put a lock on your car's steering wheel.

The family has put together a GoFundMe page to help fix Derek's car.

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