35 air bags stolen in Northampton

Air bag theft becoming a more common crime

WWLP file image of Lia Honda in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — Northampton police are investigating after someone stole air bags from 35 vehicles at a car dealership.

Police say the steering wheel air bags were stolen from vehicles at Lia Honda either late Monday or early Tuesday. The thief or thieves broke the rear windows in the cars to gain access.

Co-owner Michael Lia tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette that the damage is going to be “quite expensive” to replace, but he had yet to see an exact amount.

Carol Kaplan, spokeswoman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, says air bag thefts are a growing problem. She estimates the damage to each vehicle at between $1,000 and $2,000.

Experts say the air bags, which cost about $1,000 retail, can be sold on the black market for between $50 and $200.

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