Beware of 3rd Row Seat Thieves

Thieves across the country are in many cases not targeting expensive SUVs parked in driveways and parking lots, but are instead stealing the third row of seats from the vehicles for up to $1000 profit.

This happened to me last year with my personal vehicle which at the time was a Cadillac Escalade.

Ivan Barahona, an SUV owner, parked his vehicle in his Dallas driveway and made sure nothing valuable was inside and locked it up, but a trio still broke into the back, and within seconds, removed part of the seats. Within 40 seconds, the entire back row in the vehicle was gone.

“It feels really bad because people work really hard for what they have,” Barahona said.

Police say so-called “third seat theft” is on the rise, particularly in Texas and California.

Replacement seats are in demand by SUV owners whose row of seats has been damaged or worn out. Detectives say the crooks can get about $1,000 for the seats on sites like Craigslist or in a salvage yard – a sizable payoff for 40 seconds of work.

Police often recover the stolen seats but have no way of reuniting them with their rightful owner, which is why Los Angeles police are encouraging owners to engrave their SUV’s vehicle identification number onto the bottom of those seats.

“It’s something that’s very simple. With a little bit of time and effort, people can protect themselves,” Det. Mike Ventura with the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Even something as inexpensive as a bike lock will slow crooks down. Locking up seats is a good investment because replacing a stolen third seat at the dealership can cost up to $4,000.

  1. ken 3 years ago

    I have a 2001 Chevy Sub. and I live very close to the Pacific Ocean. The car is always outside and it rust a lot. I’m looking for another SUV but don’t really need 7 seats with cargo. My kids are grown and we have stopped going camping. I was looking at the Japanese or European SUVs. Most important is safety, reliability and doesn’t rust much in the Pacific weather. Do you think a MB ML350 or the Acura MDX will do better in that kind of weather? It is mostly used on weekends and long trips (LA).Your thoughts will greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Michele Sanders 3 years ago

      Good to hear from you. Yes, i think either of those would serve you well and today, vehicles don’t rust like they used to. I reviewed the MDX recently, you can see that on the website. I’ve always been a fan of the ML. You might consider the BMW X5 too, it’s terrific.

      Thanks for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

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