Airbags stolen from cars at Lia Honda in Northampton

Airbag theft becoming more frequent in U.S.

WWLP file image of Lia Honda in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It may sound like an odd thing to steal, but a car dealership in Northampton fell victim to an airbag heist this week. Experts say that the theft of the safety feature is becoming more and more commonplace.

Dozens of vehicles on Lia Honda’s King Street property were broken into, with the steering wheel airbags taken out. Dealership co-owner Michael Lia said that dealing with the damage is going to be expensive.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says that this type of theft is on the rise. Airbags retail for about $1,000 apiece, but can be sold on the black market for anywhere from $200 to as low as $50. 22News went to King Auto Body in Northampton to learn more about what someone might do with a stolen airbag.

“In Massachusetts at least, you cannot use a used airbag, you’re forced to buy it from the manufacturer just based on safety specifications. They main concern that I would see is for people trying to resell them for either export of to fix a personal vehicle that they’ve crashed,” King Auto Body manager Steven Moore said.

Northampton police say that the thefts at Lia Honda happened either late Monday or early Tuesday. The back windows of about 35 vehicles were smashed during the heist.

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