Special Report: Lights Out
Alexa Dailey of Boston was floored when she saw her car was missing something.
"I was completely shocked," Dailey said. "Why would anyone steal lights off a car?"
Dailey is a victim of what police say is a growing problem in the Bay State. The theft of xenon, or high intensity headlights, the bright lights with a blue tint. They're standard on many high-end models and optional in many others.
Cambridge police recently issued an alert about the thefts
"We've had 31 headlights stolen from cars in approximately a six month period," Officer Frank Pasquarello of the Cambridge Police Department said.
The lights are worth as much as $2,200 a pair brand new. When they’re stolen they wind up on the streets or in online auctions being resold for a fraction of their value.
"It’s quick if they know what they are doing," Pasquarello said. "They'll walk up to the car jam a crow bar into the light and pull back and the head light just break right out."
Two men were recently arrested as they attempted to steal lights off a car in the Back Bay. Kevin Martinez was one of them, he was charged with malicious destruction of property.
Some car owners have become so aggravated with the thefts they've sold their cars and purchased new ones without xenon lights.
"After $3000-4,000, most people don't want to deal with it anymore," Rich Poillucci of Automotive Specialties Inc. said.
Dailey’s headlights were stolen twice. She said it costs hundreds to repair her car and even more to prevent it from happening again. She installed a new alarm in her car and motion sensor lights above her driveway.
"I added it up once but then I just put it out of my mind because it was just to depressing," Dailey said.
Want to protect your headlights? Experts say an alarm is a good start.
They also recommend parking with your car's front as close to a wall or another car as possible and parking in well-lit areas. Simple security measures that may prevent you from seeing your lights taken out.(Copyright 2005 by WHDHTV 7News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)