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Mokwa Says Even Early Birds Should Get Car Stickers

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Police Chief Joe Mokwa (KWMU file photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis's new effort to curb car thefts is about a week old, and Police Chief Joe Mokwa says there are about 25 requests each day for new stickers people can put on their car.

The stickers read H.E.A.T. - short for Help Eliminate Auto Theft. They give police the right to pull that car over if its seen in use between 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m.

Mokwa says even people who might be driving to or from work at those hours should consider getting the stickers.

"I would because even if you get pulled over there'll be a list of who's allowed to drive that automobile, or who the owner's given permission, so it would be a very quick detention," Mokwa says. "But, those are always choices and everyone sees things differently."

Police are also now using more so-called bait cars, meant to catch thieves in the act.

Mokwa says some state lawmakers have also indicated a desire to change and strengthen laws that deal with auto theft.

But the chief adds the stickers might not be for everyone, depending on people's social schedules.

"Some people that have a real active lifestyle - especially at night - may choose to not get the sticker. And that's okay as long as you feel you know where your automobile is at all times. Many of us don't feel vulnerable to thefts and rely on nothing will happen' and it may not. So it's just a choice of every individual."

St. Louis's murder rate is going down, but its car theft rate has been increasing.

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