By Joan Murray

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A different, more illegal kind of airbag recall took place in Miami overnight.

Some residents at the apartment complex located at 2501 northwest 16th street woke up to find their cars had been broken into and there was a gaping hole in their steering wheel.

A week ago, airbags were stolen out of a dozen cars parked in a garage at 5205 NW 29th Avenue in northwest Miami-Dade.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’m at a 20,” said Steve Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s airbag was stolen out of his brand new Honda that was parked on NW 16th Street.

“I’ll call the insurance company,” he said. “I just leased this car nine days ago. The car doesn’t even have 300 miles. I’m more than upset.”

Airbag thefts are on the rise in South Florida once again.

“We’ve been seeing a rash of airbag thefts,” said Miami Police Department spokesperson Kenia Fallat.

Fallat said Hondas and Toyotas are being targeted the most.

The stolen airbags often end up in the hands of shady mechanics.

They’ll install the stolen airbags and then bill the insurance company $1,000 for a new one.

So if you are getting an air bag replaced, experts recommend you should make sure you use a reputable repair shop and inspect the invoice to make sure it is brand new.

Car alarms are recommended to deter thieves, but police said they are not full proof. Expert thieves are able to remove an airbag in only a minute.

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