Oscar Matute, West Oklahoma City

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Context: When low-income people lose a vehicle by theft or accident, it complicates their lives deeply. Matute, 36, who is from Honduras, can’t afford to replace his 1987 pickup. “I haven’t got enough (money), between paying rent, cell phone bill, electric bill.” After 14 years doing apartment maintenance and house repairs in Oklahoma City, he left recently for Charlotte, N.C., riding in his cousin’s vehicle. He hopes to save up to buy another truck.


Paco Balderrama, Oklahoma City Police Spokesman

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Context: Balderrama said vehicle theft is a problem in the city, and the department wants to deploy more bait cars to catch thieves in the act. Balderrama doubts Matute’s truck will ever be found because he waited too long to call police. In Oklahoma City, Balderrama said, some people steal vehicles to chop into parts, and some steal for a ride. In other cases, a person loans his or her car to someone who fails to return it.

A Deeper Look:

Vehicle Theft Probes

Touch the bars to see the number of cases referred to the Oklahoma City Police Department’s auto theft unit in each of the last five years.

Source: Oklahoma City Police Department.

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