‘Love my Ride’ campaign aims to reduce car thefts

More than 10,000 cars are stolen every year in Virginia.
More than 10,000 cars are stolen annually in Virginia.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - More than 10,000 cars are stolen annually in Virginia. That’s why several police departments, including Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield, are joining forces to curb thefts. All these agencies say they’ve seen an uptick in car thefts, and most of the time, people steal these cars with the keys inside.

“I would say 99 percent of our stolen cars have a key involved somehow; either the owner left the car running and unattended or they left a spare key inside the car somewhere,” said Major Rick Edwards of the Richmond Police Department.

Multiple police departments are reporting a rise in thefts. In the City of Richmond, auto theft has increased by 54 percent in just the first three months of this year. Henrico County has had 266 vehicles stolen so far this year.

“We’re trying to attack it from a lot of different areas, so on the police side, we’re going to be stepping up our enforcement and making arrests for motor vehicle thefts. We have a lot of technology that is helping us to identify stolen cars, but we’re asking the public to work on it from the other angle,” stated Edwards.

The new campaign, “Love my Ride,” is a way to make drivers a part of the efforts to decrease the thefts, asking them to take simple steps to protect their cars.

“You want to lock your vehicle every time you leave it. Take your keys with you. Try and park in a well-lit area. The second layer that we recommend is some type of preventative method, whether that’s a club steering wheel lock, a brake lock or our free VIN etching service,” explained First Sergeant Peter Lazear with Virginia State Police.

The new campaign coincides with National Vehicle Prevention month, which runs through July.

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