Phoenix Auto Thefts Down 33 Percent

If you're like many of us and missed the federal government's generous "Cash for Clunkers" deadline, you may have been hoping someone would steal your dumpy old Chrysler so you can collect a little insurance money.

In the past, parking your car in certain Phoenix neighborhoods overnight would more than likely make those hopes a reality.

Unfortunately, things have changed here in the Valley, and the odds of having your car stolen have gone down substantially.  

According to area law enforcement and insurance industry officials, auto theft in Phoenix and surrounding cities is down 33 percent from 2004.

In 2004, authorities say about 55,300 cars, trucks, and motorcycles were stolen in the Valley, as opposed to 37,200 last year.

Officials credit the decline to things like new police technology, such as automatic license-plate readers, "bait" cars, and better security features in new cars.

The chief of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office Auto Theft Bureau, Bill Montgomery, tells CBS 5 (KPHO) the drop can also be attributed to the increased presence of federal law enforcement along the Arizona-Mexico border.

And Sheriff Joe says he doesn't need the feds.