Philadelphia

Car thefts increased 33 percent in Philadelphia in 12 months

Car thefts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have increased 33% compared to this time last year.

About 6300 vehicles stolen in Philadelphia at this time in 2019, compared to 8,384 cars stolen year-to-date.

Though the captain of the 18th police district says his team is making efforts to reduce these numbers.

“I’m not happy about it, but we have an overall rise of 39% for the year in stolen autos. In a two-week period we had 31 cars taken,” said Captain Matthew Gillespie.

Gillespie heads up the 18th district in West Philadelphia and said these are crimes of opportunity.

In the last two weeks, he said that 11 out of the 31 cars have been taken with the keys in them.

The thieves are aiming at double-parkers, car warmers, and delivery drivers. About a dozen delivery cars were stolen in 2020 in the 18th district alone.

“With COVID-19 we really have seen an increase in delivery services so the delivery person comes, and then the robbery happens,” said Gillespie.

One-third to one-half of thefts crimes are just too easy, says Captain of Major Crimes Squad, John Ryan.

“It’s directly tied to people leaving their cars running, people leaving their key fobs in their car, so people can just drive off,” added Captain Ryan.

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