Stealing cars wouldn’t be so easy, if people would do one simple thing: Don’t leave them unlocked and running. In one week this month, 24 of the 66 Louisville cars reported stolen had keys in them, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. That type of theft makes up about 20 percent of all stolen autos in the Louisville area each year.
For each of the past two years, the number of auto thefts and car break-ins has gone up. Last year, auto theft rose by 16 percent to 3,965 vehicles, growing more than any other crime, including aggravated assault, burglary, and rape. That’s an average of nearly 11 cars stolen each day. The most-stolen vehicle last year was the Oldsmobile Cutlass, but they accounted for just 231 of the total. Police say older General Motors vehicles typically are popular among thieves because they are easier to steal. “Auto thefts is a tremendous problem,” Police Chief Robert White told his commanders last week. “Most of them could be prevented.”