VIRGINIA

Airbags stolen from cars in Arlington

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Several drivers in Arlington are dealing with a major headache. Their cars were broken into and their airbags cut out.

But, that's not the only thing these victims have in common.

Everyone who was targeted drives a Honda, and their cars were parked within 50 feet of each other.

When they walked outside Tuesday morning, they couldn't believe their eyes.

"Not the way I wanted to start my Tuesday. That's for sure," Amy Houck says.

Houck is one of four victims in the overnight crime spree. All of them found their Hondas, parked in the 5000 block of 10 Street North, in devastating condition.

Houck continues, "They took my driver's side airbag and shattered my passenger-side window."

"I have an entire driver's side seat full of glass. I'm missing a window and no air-bag," victim Lucas Ager adds.

Arlington County police say whoever is behind the crime chose the block specifically.

Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says, "This location is pretty much ideal for a car break-in."

Sternbeck believes the cars were targeted because there are no homes in the area, and it's poorly lit.

While air bags may be a strange conquest for thieves locally, nationally they're becoming a hot commodity.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates 60,000 of them are ripped out of cars annually, costing insurance companies about $50 million.

"It makes me angry, and I feel violated too cause it's my personal space," fumes Margo Eggling, yet another victim of the break-ins.

AAA says the Honda Civic and Acura Integra have long been popular targets for airbag thefts.

They're also among the most popular vehicles on the road.

According to AAA, the stolen airbags are being sold to dishonest collision repair shops, committing insurance fraud. That means you could be tricked into thinking you're getting a new airbag installed when, in fact, it's stolen.

Victim Danial Bulka adds, " I guess from what police were saying, whoever did this saw four Hondas. Apparently, on the secondary market or whatever, these airbags can fetch up to $500, so just kind of bang for your buck I guess."

Insurance companies are now working with automakers and airbag suppliers to hopefully find a solution to the growing problem.

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