'Stripped in Seconds' tour shows how chop shops work

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A matter of moments...that's all it took for a three-man team to strip a Toyota Scion down to it's shell and a pile of parts during a demonstration. Under normal circumstances, those parts could easily end up on the black market.

"Your car can be more valuable to car thieves in parts," said Allison Hatcher, a spokesperson for Allstate.  "There are certain parts of the car that can go for a couple hundred dollars a pop.  If you think about how many of these parts they can take off, they end up cleaning up."

The live chop shop demonstration was part of Allstate Insurance Company's national 'Stripped in Seconds' tour, a seven week, cross-country campaign the insurer says it hopes will make people think about theft prevention.

"Nobody wants to think about their car being stolen or the hassle or what it takes to get another car or file an insurance claim," Hatcher said.

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, Hatcher said, you could be the next victim.  According to Allstate, Memphis ranks highest in the state of Tennessee for frequency of auto theft per capita.

But there are some common sense ways to secure your car:

  • You should lock your car and take your keys
  • Park in a high foot traffic, well-lighted areas
  • Roll up your windows
  • Don't leave your car running unattended
  • Always hide your valuables

"There are more people that are paying attention to these simple things they can do," Hatcher said. "There are more people paying attention and taking advantage of anti-theft devices, and that's helping the problem."

Memphis is one of 14 cities across the country where the 'Stripped in Seconds' team will be tearing apart cars.

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