Thief ignores valuables, zeroes in on paperwork

Posted at 7:26 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 22:27:01-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - An unusual theft in Chula Vista has left one SUV owner creeped out.

Dave Hughes said his wife left their 2010 Buick Enclave unlocked for a few hours Saturday night in their driveway on San Juan Place, before locking it around 11 p.m.

"On Sunday morning, I came out to take the dog out for a walk, and the door was ajar. I looked inside and it was a mess," said Hughes.

Amid the ransacked interior, he noticed something odd in the glove compartment.

"They didn't take the pouch which had $50 in emergency cash or the sunglasses," said Hughes.

In fact, the thief took only one thing -- Hughes' insurance card.

"You feel violated. It's creepy. You don't know what they're going to do with that information," said Hughes.

On that same night, just down the street on MacKenzie Creek Road, surveillance video captured a man wearing a fishing hat and a backpack trying to open a car door. Moments before, lights flash when the man is in another driveway.

If that thief was targeting insurance cards, what is the cause?

10News reviewed a copy of the insurance card from Hughes' other vehicle. It includes the insurer, home address, policy number and VIN.

Several auto theft experts say thefts of just insurance cards are very rare, but the thief could be targeting the VIN to clone it, then stamping the numbers into a stolen, similar vehicle.

"They're looking for what they're looking for ? and then they're gone," said Hughes.

Neighbors say at least 10 cars were hit Saturday night, with some registration cards taken.

Detectives say with that info, thieves can apply for license plates in Mexico and put them on stolen cars.