SUV third-row seat theft on the rise in Southern California


"It's something that's very simple," said LAPD Det. Mike Ventura. "With a little bit of time and effort people can protect themselves."

The seats might be heavy and cumbersome, but crooks are making quick work of them.

Generally, third-row seats are sold for no more than $1,000 online or in salvage yards, but they cost more than $4,000 in some cases to replace, because manufacturers only make enough for the SUVs they assemble.

Many of the seats are recovered. The problem is police have no way of telling who they belong to and that's why they recommend car owners engrave them.

"You can use the VIN number and this way it's a unique identifier to the actual owner of the car," Ventura said.

An engraving tool may cost between $15 and $25. LADP says that's a small price to pay for an item that could save you thousands of dollars.

Alternatively, you can secure your seats to the vehicle by using a cable lock.

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