Police Urge Vigilance During National Vehicle Theft Awareness Month

KTUL - July 9, 2024 6:15 am

Police departments are taking to social media, warning people about vehicle thefts.

With it being National Vehicle Theft Awareness Month, NewsChannel 8 did some research to learn if vehicle theft is an issue Green country residents should be concerned about.

“Be careful with your vehicles at night and lock your doors,” said Ethan Hutchins, the Public Information Coordinator for Broken Arrow Police Department.

Hutchins says they try to spread awareness about vehicle theft any opportunity they get.

“Remove valuables from your vehicles. If you’re parking in a shopping area, park in a well-lit area.”

Hutchins says for the past three months, they’ve worked more than 30 cases of stolen vehicles.

“Each month we’ve had about, you know, between nine and 11 stolen vehicles,” said Hutchins.

He says that they’re not alone in this, saying that many municipalities in the Tulsa Metro deal with auto theft.

Tulsa Police Department, however, saw a major drop in auto thefts last year according to its 2023 annual report.

There were 2,035 auto thefts in Tulsa in 2023 and 2,479 auto thefts in 2022.. that’s an 18% reduction. and a 42% reduction from 2021 which saw 3,541 auto thefts.

The TPD report also highlighted the opening of its Real Time Information Center in August, which helped recover more than 100 stolen vehicles.

“The majority of these criminals are kids who go out and try and find these vehicles and then they make off with the vehicle or the valuable stuff inside before we get there,” said Hutchins.

Hutchins says they rely on video surveillance, doorbell video or security video to help identify people who are committing these crimes.

He says they also want to hear from the public if they’re seeing car thefts in their neighborhood.

“Maybe they’re on a next door app or a neighbor’s app and they’re communicating on social media with their Facebook page, please don’t just compare videos or information that you’re experiencing in your neighborhood with other homeowners. Give us a call, let us know when you’re having these issues and have an officer come out there and file a police report because that can start a paper trail of this happening,” said Hutchins.

Hutchins says if you see somebody in a driveway that looks like they’re not supposed to be there and they’re walking around the car with a flashlight, looking inside of windows to call 911.

He says that if you notice valuables missing from your car, to call a non-emergency number.

 

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