It never entered my mind that people would steal airbags from cars but it seems to be a big item to steal. So these people that actually buy your car for scrap metal and give you a hundred or so must have a number of ways to make a profit besides scrap metal.
The Columbus Patch recently had an article on it http://columbia.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/16-airbags-stolen-from-columbia-neighborhoods-howard-county-police?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001&evar4=picks-1-post&newsRef=true
Airbag theft is a growing crime trend, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which reports an estimated 50,000 airbags are stolen each year, costing vehicle owners more than $50 million.
An airbag sells for about $1,000 from a car dealer but can go for between $50 and $200 on the black market, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.