Airbags were stolen from at least a dozen cars in Herndon over two days, according to police.
The incidents happened overnight on May 6 and May 7 at the Ashton at Dulles Corner apartments. A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department told Reston Now the incidents are under investigation.
Residents of the apartment complex reported that only Hondas were targeted during the airbag theft streak.
Airbags, which can sell for hundreds of dollars on the black market, are easily removable and portable, allowing thieves to make a quick buck.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau says that airbags retail at around $1,000 and can be purchased on the black market for between $50 and $200.
The NICB offers the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of airbag fraud:
- Use a reputable automobile collision repair shop that employs ASE-certified mechanics
- Inspect the invoice to ensure the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler
- If possible, inspect the airbag prior to installation. If new, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer
- The trim cover over the steering column should be the same color as the remaining trim interior. If not, it is an indication that the original airbag has been replaced
- When you turn on your vehicle’s ignition, a red SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) indicator should light up and flash in the instrument panel display, indicating the airbag system is activated. No SRS light indicates a problem with the airbag system that could result in no airbag activation
Some national reports indicate that newer models of Hondas might be at higher risk of airbag thefts.
Photo via Megan Marie