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Bizarre! Latest Craze Among Car Thieves

By Cathryn Conroy, Netscape News Editor
The latest craze among thieves is stealing those high-intensity xenon headlights from expensive luxury cars, especially Acuras. The worst hit areas are northern New Jersey, New York City, New York's Westchester County, and the Connecticut suburbs. Why? Dealers, body shops, and insurance companies say the thefts are driven by a lust for the moon-blue lights among urban youths, who steal them so they can transplant them to their own cars, reports The Associated Press. "They're retrofitting these into their Hondas and making them into low-riders," Richard Black, who owns a body shop in Newark, told AP.

Find out which car--the whole thing, not just the headlights--is stolen more than any other car.

Benjamin Benson of Newark, New Jersey was a victim of this bizarre theft. He explained to AP: "I start driving, and a police officer pulls me over and says, 'Put your lights on!' I said, 'Officer, they ARE on.' He tells me to pull over into a parking lot. He gets out of his car, I get out of mine, we look at where my lights used to be and both our mouths are gaping open. There's wires hanging out of these two big holes." And car dealers are just as vulnerable. In Denville, New Jersey, thieves stole 20 headlights from cars sitting in the parking lot of an Acura dealership. They're pricey to replace at between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the associated body damage. "It's an epidemic, totally out of control," said Dominick Pardo, another Newark body shop owner. "I mean, it's just crazy how many of these are getting stolen."

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