How Safe Is Your Car When You Park At The Airport?

There’s been a rash of thefts from airport parking lots in Orlando. And the thieves are all going for muscle cars. Airports have some of the toughest security operations in the country, and I don’t mean TSA. There are law enforcement officers of nearly every flavor at major destinations, and cameras everywhere.

But those aren’t deployed to stop crime, they’re often focused on drug interdiction of lifting cash from passengers who aren’t committing any crimes. They’re certainly not protecting cars in the parking lot.

The preferred cars seem to be Dodge Chargers, Challengers, and Jeep Grand Cherokees with Hellcat 6.2 liter 707 horsepower V8 engines. And none of the thefts have apparently even been caught on camera. Here’s a news report that includes a description of the engines complete with dubbed in revving noises.

“The Hellcat is a breed of its own,” Perez-Ocana said. “It’s a 6.2 with a huge supercharger. I wanted to have a car that captured the most, pure form of American muscle and modern form, and the Hellcat seemed like the best option,” he said.

…The only evidence of the thefts are exit tollbooth records and piles of broken glass where the cars used to be.

(HT: Joe R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If you personally asked me, I would never drive my car to the airport and parking and airport parking lot. one thing I would do is either take a cab, ride the train, or find someone to drop me off at the airport. I wouldn’t trust my car sitting in an airport parking lot because you never know who has a sneaky mind to watch people as there’ll pulling things out of their vehicles and potentially break into a vehicle after the person leaves. And what if you leave your car or truck parked there while on a two-week vacation in another state or country? There are people who sit around and take notice of how long certain vehicles are sitting in an airport parking lots. One agrees with this?

  2. California has seen plenty of theft from cars, for which no jail time is given even if the thief is caught. More serious is theft of catalytic converters from airport lots and home driveways. Again, the potential penalties are grossly insufficient to make the theft unprofitable. No ungated neighborhood is safe.

    At this point, for most Californians parking at the airport is safer than parking their own driveways.

  3. Park at private garage. I think it’s better. True they aren’t liable necessarily, but nevertheless if a rash of thefts are occurring, it’s bad for their business. I’ve seen many exotic cars parked at private garage. I park at Wally Park @LAX.

  4. @NSX…that’s absolutely crazy that catalyctic converter thieves getting caught and don’t allegedly get jail time. Theft is theft, whether it’s a small thing or large heist. I would never drive my vehicle and park at nobody’s airport. It’s best to call an UBER or LYFT or someone you know like a friend or family member and have them drop you off at the airport. Agree?

  5. @nsx

    No penalties will deter most crime because people who do it don’t think they will get caught. Anyone who will risk jail time in the first place isn’t going to be disincentivized from doing any activity because 1 year goes to 2. Someone who steals a car (or car parts) or robs a store isn’t going to stop because of tougher minimums. That’s the flaw in the deterrence theory.

    What stops real crime is adequate patrolling, citizens empowered to defend themselves with guns, security cameras that are monitored, and crime not being worth the risk. In the case of these car thefts at airports, we see that cops are the biggest culprits along with their leftist politician masters. Cops enforcing the war on drugs means they are focused on going after people for making choices for their own bodies instead of stopping real crime. Every focus on drug laws means less cops on street corners or patrolling parking areas to deter rape, theft, vandalism, and unjustified murder. We have cops who arrest Christians for going to church, enforce court orders on bakers who don’t want to bake cakes, who pull citizens over for voluntarily and consensually not wearing a piece of fabric around their shoulders in a car for their own bodies, who arrest citizens for defending themselves from violent attack, and who enforce gun laws that keep guns in the hands of thugs and out of the hands of honorable citizens. This is why these thefts, robberies, burglaries, rapes, vandalism, and assaults happen. Most of the manpower of cops is directed at crippling freedom instead of preventing real crime.

  6. @DNN: Normally no jail even if caught:

    @JW: See the link I gave DNN. When the penalty is zero whether caught or not, anyone can see that crime pays. Professional shopping without paying, carefully keeping the total theft below $950, is the latest California craze. Store clerks are instructed not to intervene and calling the police is pointless. Catalytic converter theft and auto burglary are being similarly encouraged. But as I wrote, one’s driveway is not necessarily safer than a fenced airport parking lot or a big box store parking lot.

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