California Muscle Car Killing Sheds Light On Car Theft Effects

Estimated read time 3 min read

It’s not just about losing your ride.

Far too often, stories of stolen cars are dismissed out of hand. “It’s just a car,” is a popular retort to those of us who are concerned about the disturbing trend. However, the fatal shooting of a woman in Bakersfield, California has helped shine a light on why car theft is about far more than just having your ride stolen.

Teens steal Porsche during home invasion robbery.

As reported by KGET, police launched an aggressive investigation when they found Victoria Anna Marie Hampton laying in a street early on the morning of March 19, a gunshot wound to her head. Hampton died in the hospital on April 1.

Police were able to ascertain she was trying to get her stolen Dodge back after it had been stolen by using the AirTag hidden inside. Immediately, police suspected the thieves who had taken Hampton’s muscle car were the one responsible for her death.

Hunting down the four individuals believed to have been responsible for Hampton’s demise involved looking at stolen car cases all over Southern California. The theft of two different Hellcats were of particular interest, one from a house and the other from a dealership.

As investigators tried looking for similarities in how the dead woman’s Dodge was taken and other swiped vehicles, including the ease with which her car was stolen, they eventually landed on 19-year-old David Tyrone Thompson, of Bellflower; 18-year-old Adam Ransom, of Lynwood; 23-year-old Joseph Bush, of Anaheim; and 19-year-old Giovanni Garcia, of Long Beach.

In the report, it’s mentioned that police started connecting the stolen vehicles, most of which were Dodge Chargers and Challengers, to different drive-by shootings, homicides, vehicle fatalities, armed robberies, and property crimes. That’s the point we really want to drive home: car theft helps fuel other crimes, including violent offenses.

Many organized crime groups either use stolen cars to then commit other crimes or sell the stolen vehicles/parts to help fund their illegal activities. In other words, car theft isn’t just about losing your ride, it’s about how people who want to kill, hurt, steal, traffic other humans, etc. do those horrible things.

This is why we want to see effective solutions for curbing car theft. As long as they continue raging out of control, communities will continue to be unsafe and societal problems will escalate.

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Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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