Vehicle battery theft all too common around Charlotte

Vehicle battery theft all too common around Charlotte

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 10:49 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- You could go to any truck stop in the country and there'd be a good chance you'd find a driver who has had his batteries stolen.

"It's frustrating as hell,” said Larry Johnson while he was stopped at a Pilot on Statesville Road off Interstate 85. “You come out, get in your truck to go to work and you can't make it. That's a messed up feeling.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said that vehicle batteries are a target of thieves in the area. Late last month they hit the CMS school bus yard off Wilkinson Boulevard, stealing more than $2,000 worth of truck batteries.

"As far as battery theft, you see them on a weekly basis. They are very hard to trace. There is no serial numbers or anything," said Tom Gisler, who investigates metal theft for CMPD.

At a scrap yard, thieves can get $25 a pop or take them to a battery reseller and get much more.

Investigators said they are difficult to catch because batteries don’t have serial numbers, making them hard to trace.

Gisler recommends that you make your vehicle less of a target.

"Park your cars in lighted areas, well lit areas, well traveled areas so it’s hard for people to be secluded, open the hood up (and then) get to battery compartment," said the investigator.

While thieves get as little as $25 per battery, it cost drivers upwards of $500 to replace a set of four, not to mention time off the job.

"I had to miss a load. I had to turn a load down, so it cost me a couple of thousand (dollars)," said Johnson, who is from California.

So far police have no suspects in the CMS bus yard case.

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