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Thief caught on camera using tow truck to snatch car in Southeast, DC

The victim said his new Honda Accord was stolen in just two minutes.

WASHINGTON — Lyndon Bilal only had his Honda Accord Hybrid Sport for six weeks before it was stolen from in front of his home

Bilal’s Nest camera caught the deed at 4:18 a.m. Sunday at Martin Luther King Avenue Southeast, D.C. It only took 120 seconds for his car to be gone. An apparently unmarked tow truck hooked Bilal’s car in such a hurry the Honda dropped off the towing mechanism, possibly damaging the car, and leaving a streak of oil on the pavement.

But the thief wasn’t giving up. He backed up and hooked to the vehicle again, ultimately making off with the car.

"This all happened in less than two minutes," Bilal said. "It's definitely not the average petty car thief." 

Media reports from around the U.S. are documenting how thieves frustrated by increasingly effective anti-theft technology on high end cars are now resorting to tow trucks to steal them. Sometimes the tow trucks themselves are stolen, according to the reports.

MPD confirms Bilal has reported the crime and investigators are working on the case. They had no immediate comment on how this particular theft appears to have been done.

Bilal installed his Nest camera under a D.C. government program that offered rebates in exchange for registering the camera with police and allowing them access to the video.

Now, Bilal said it’s time for the investment to pay off.

“You know, it can be stopped," Bilal said. "We have the technology to stop it with all the cameras everywhere. And I think they need to just follow the snake from the tail and get to the head and cut it off." 

MPD and auto insurers recommend tracking systems as an additional security measure to challenge car thieves.

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