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IMPD sees massive jump in car thefts

Indianapolis sees massive jump in car thefts

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has recorded a massive 38% increase in the number of stolen cars this year compared to last year.

So far, nearly 3,000 car thefts have been reported in 2024, which averages to 18 cars being stolen every day in the city.

IMPD told I-Team 8 that the number of cars being stolen has spiked in part because of videos on social media giving step-by-step instructions on how to steal certain types of cars. Those videos are teaching people how to steal Kias and Hyundais.

With those types of cars, it’s easier for thieves to rip off the plastic steering column to boost the car.

IMPD said over the past several years that Kias and Hyundais have made up the vast majority of stolen cars for that exact reason.

But this year, thieves are branching out and targeting other car brands as well.

The spike in car thefts has not led to a rise in people being arrested for grand theft auto.

IMPD Officer Alyssa Hunter said, “We are recovering a lot of vehicles that have been stolen previously. Most of the time, they’re unoccupied.”

IMPD wants to help car owners to be proactive and prevent their cars from being stolen. Hunter said, “We have steering-wheel locks that are provided for free, so you guys can lock your vehicles if you park outside. If you do have a garage, we encourage you to use that space for parking.”

Despite the massive spike in car thefts, IMPD said, crime overall is down 7% compared to the same period in 2023.