Thieves target airbags in string of crimes in Harper Woods

Police say supply shortage is driving thefts

Thieves targeting Chevy Malibu airbags in rash of overnight thefts
Thieves targeting Chevy Malibu airbags in rash of overnight thefts

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – Thieves in Harper Woods are stealing the airbags from Chevrolet Malibu vehicles.

“I was devastated,” said Kim Dalton. “I felt violated.”

Dalton works hard for her money. Less than two weeks after she bought her new Chevrolet, her airbag was stolen.

“You feel unsafe,” Dalton said. “You’re looking around, wondering who could this have been.”

In May, the airbag she had replaced was stolen.

“I can’t believe I got hit twice,” Dalton said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Harper Woods Public Safety put out an alert that thieves are going after airbags in 2017-21 Malibu models after four cars were hit within the last few days, but police believe more were hit in surrounding areas.

“I would say there is at least a dozen, on top of what transpired last month as well,” said Dept. Chief Ted Strager.

Police said the spike is caused by airbag shortages. Repair shops can’t get them in, demand is high thieves get $500 per airbag.

Video captured a man break into a vehicle and get out with the entire steering wheel within 10 seconds. Stolen steering wheels with the airbags removed are littered up and down Telegraph Road.

“It can happen anywhere,” Dalton said. “If it can happen in seconds, it can happen anywhere.”

More: Crime news

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.