The Bakersfield Police Department will soon be distributing free anti-car theft devices.
At Wednesday’s Bakersfield City Council meeting, the department received a grant to purchase 255 anti-theft devices, similar to The Club Security Lock, that will be available to the public at no cost.
However, the devices are being distributed specifically to those that drive the five most commonly stolen vehicles in Kern County.
Those vehicles include 1990-2000 Honda Civics and Accords, 2000-2008 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, as well as 1990-2000 Acura Integras.
The devices will be distributed at locations where car thefts are common, such as The Marketplace the Valley Plaza Mall. They will also be available at the Bakersfield Police Department Headquarters located on Truxtun Avenue.
Drivers will be required to provide proof of their registration and a driver's license to receive a free device.
Officials said the program is aimed at reducing auto thefts, which are on the rise.
In Bakersfield 2,777 grand theft autos were reported to police in 2017.
According to BPD’s crime map there have been 1500 reported car thefts so far this year.
The Public Policy Institute of California has linked the spike in car burglaries, shoplifting and other types of theft to a proposition that passed in 2014, which reduced penalties for drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.
It’s unclear when BPD will begin distributing the free devices.