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Richmond car thefts up 42% city-wide, up 218% downtown

Richmond Police are now sounding the alarm and saying the stats show it’s 42% higher than compared to this same time last year.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 3:01 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The River City is becoming more known for its car theft rate these days.

Richmond Police are now sounding the alarm, saying the stats show it’s 42% higher compared to this same time last year. That’s 421 cars reported stolen, including one overnight.

“We had a vehicle that was stolen, and it had a low jack in it, and I guess the individual didn’t think there had been time for it to be reported yet,” said Lt. Brian Robinson, Richmond Police Dept.

So how is this happening? Police said they have three areas of concern.

Crooks are swiping cars from valets outside hotels in downtown Richmond. Takeout food delivery drivers leave their cars unattended and running, and people leave keys inside their vehicles when they make a convenience store pit stop.

“A lot of those are crimes of opportunity, especially in the downtown area where people are getting out and enjoying the weather more. They’re coming into the city. We have events downtown. Events in other parts of the city, so the opportunities have increased for individuals,” said Lt. Robinson.

Another major issue, people are leaving a key fob in their car. Even if your car is locked, crooks have the technology to get inside because the fob is already there.

Police say once your vehicle is stolen, the facts often show the car is not in the same condition before it was taken, and sometimes it has to be kept for evidence.

“Thieves are out there and are trying to do anything they can to steal. So do everything you can to make your vehicle as undesirable to crooks as possible,” said Morgan Dean, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

It’s not just cars being stolen. Things inside them are too, including guns, laptops and bags. Police say thefts from vehicles are up 54% compared to last year.

You can find more tips and tricks from AAA Mid-Atlantic here.

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