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Lexus SUV owners in central Japan get anti-theft devices after spate of thefts

A demonstration on how to set a device to fix a steering wheel to a seat belt buckle is performed in Nagoya's Tempaku Ward on Oct. 20, 2021. (Mainichi/Ayaka Morita)

NAGOYA -- Central Japan's Aichi Prefecture has seen a spate of thefts involving Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury car brand Lexus, with prefectural police reporting that LX SUVs account for 93 of 557 vehicles stolen between January and September.

    Aichi Prefectural Police believe LX models are being stolen for purposes including resale abroad. In response, an anti-auto theft council consisting of the prefectural police, auto dealers and other parties is handing out anti-theft devices to the prefecture's LX owners.

    Those eligible can apply via the council's Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/aichijidousyabouhan/ (in Japanese). Though the council plans to accept applications until the end of February, it will end the offer upon reaching a fixed number.

    The council held a device-presentation ceremony on Oct. 20 at car security store Security Lounge Nagoya in Nagoya's Tempaku Ward. Two people who almost had their LX cars stolen received easy-to-install theft prevention goods.

    They included a device that fixes the steering wheel to the seat belt buckle, and an alarm triggered by abnormalities such as unnatural vibrations. Both items are reportedly effective for theft prevention because they are easy to apply yet difficult to remove.

    One of the recipients of the anti-theft items was a 41-year-old resident of Nagoya's Midori Ward. It was when he was about to get in his car for a commute in January, that he noticed his Lexus' bumper had been removed and the doors were unlocked. It appeared a would-be thief had tried to take his car but gave up after they couldn't open the garage. The man said the attempted theft shocked him, because it happened despite him taking measures including installing a security camera. He said, "I want to immediately install these devices so that I won't be subjected to another theft."

    (Japanese original by Ayaka Morita, Nagoya News Center)

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