COLUMBUS, Ohio—When a thief stole a car’s engine from a gas station and put the car into the back seat of a truck, Ohio locksmith and car theft prevention expert Brian Lutz had to spend a week fixing the engine.
The stolen engine, which had no rust, was just too small for the lock, and so Lutz bought the car to test it.
After spending several days on the back of the truck, he said, he had no problems.
“I think the car’s very well-equipped,” Lutz said.
“It’s got a full set of the tools you need to fix a car.
It’s very easy to fix.
The only thing that I’d have to change is the engine.”
Lutz and his team are now preparing to sell the stolen engine and a similar one from another vehicle for $1,000 apiece, with the money going toward hiring a mechanic.
“That car’s in pretty good shape,” Luts said.
The theft of an engine from the gas station’s truck is one of the most common car thefts in the state.
But Lutz is not concerned about the odds against him, since he has had his own stolen car for nearly 20 years.
Lutz has been burglarizing cars since the 1970s and has never been caught.
“There’s no way I’m going to get caught,” he said.
Luts has spent the last two decades working with insurance companies to improve the security of their vehicles.
LUTZ: The most important thing is that the people that own the cars and the people who drive them are all insured.
The other thing is the vehicle should have no rust.
LITSUBU: I have to drive a lot more than a regular car.
Lutz and his wife have a small family of four.
The couple, who lives in Cleveland, says they are still not satisfied with the quality of their cars.
They bought a new car in 2011, and they are worried that Luts stolen engine will break the car down, but Lutz says he has a strong insurance policy.
LETSUBU (on phone): I’ve had insurance for 20 years and I haven’t had any problems with my car.
So I’m very confident that I have my car fixed and it will be safe for me to drive.
Litsubu says the theft of a car engine from one of his cars is another common problem, but he does not believe there is a big difference between car thieves and burglars.
“You’re not going to see any difference between a burglar and a car thief,” he says.
LTSUBU, for his part, said he has never had any problem with car thieves, though he has been the target of a couple of burglaries.
He is confident he has taken care of his car and will keep it that way.
Letsubu has a $15,000 deductible for repairs, and he has also been working on his car’s safety features.
“When I was younger, I used to steal from other people and then get caught, so I’m not going do that,” Letsubs car is a 1986 Ford Explorer.
“Now I’m getting a little bit older, and I’m trying to find a way to keep my car safe.”