THE CLUB AVAILABLE TO LIKELY TARGETS OF CAR THIEVES
PHILADELPHIA, October 19, 2000 – Residents of South Philadelphia, Center City and other neighborhoods in the First State Senatorial District who own frequently stolen models of vehicles will be able to receive The Club anti-theft device free of charge under a new program sponsored by State Senator Vincent J. Fumo and administered by the Citizens Crime Commission of Delaware Valley.
Winner International, manufacturer of The Club, is helping to provide 1,300 of the devices in an effort to combat vehicle thefts and break-ins, which are the most commonly committed crime in Philadelphia. Representatives of the company joined Fumo, leaders of the Crime Commission, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney at a press conference today to announce the initiative.
"When you talk about the quality of life in Philadelphia, vehicle theft is one of the most important problems that we have to address," Fumo said. "The presence of The Club on cars that are popular targets will help cut our crime rate."
The Club is a mechanical steering wheel locking device that renders a car undriveable. It is easily installed on a steering wheel in just a few seconds and can be unlocked only with a key.
It is highly visible and usually deters criminals before they break into a vehicle.
Under this program, The Club will be available to owners of the 10 most commonly stolen types of vehicles if they reside in the following police districts: 1st; 3rd; 4th; 6th; 9th; 17th; 22nd; 23rd; 24th; 25th; and 26th. Those include all neighborhoods of South Philadelphia and Center City, along with Port Richmond, Kensington, and parts of lower North Philadelphia.
The qualifying vehicle makes and models are the Honda Accord; Toyota Camry; Nissan Maxima; Oldsmobile Cutlass; Jeep Cherokee; Ford Taurus; Dodge Neon; Plymouth Voyager; Dodge Caravan; and Chevrolet Cavalier.
Owners of those vehicles who live in the First Senate District and would like The Club should contact the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-627-6532. The Commission will verify the owner’s eligibility and make arrangements for the owner to obtain the device.
A portion of the cost of The Club is being absorbed by Winner International, which is headquartered in western Pennsylvania. The rest of the cost is being covered through grant money provided by Fumo.
"Winner International came to us with a plan to make The Club available and to cut down on crime in the city," Fumo said. "We are grateful for their interest in helping us attack our number one crime problem."
This is the third major anti-vehicle-theft initiative that Fumo has started in the past three years. In 1998, he joined with the Citizen’s Crime Commission and the Philadelphia Police Department under Timoney’s leadership to create a similar program by which many vehicle owners in the city could obtain the LoJack tracking device at a sharp discount. Earlier that year, he and the Commission had started a reward program for information leading to the arrest of chop shop operators.
The Citizens’ Crime Commission of the Delaware Valley, founded in 1955, is a non-profit organization supported by corporate sponsorship and its own fund raising activity. It has more than 100 members in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo