• Atlanta police see spike in car thefts

    By: Rachel Stockman


    ATLANTA - Atlanta police are seeing a citywide spike in car thefts, some stolen right out of homeowners’ driveways.
    “We think they got it out of gear, rolled back to the street and rolled it down,” said Amanda Hill, whose pickup was stolen out of her driveway while she was at home last month. Police recovered the vehicle, all smashed up, in Southeast Atlanta.
    “I was really upset when they found it and it was wrecked. I was hoping they could find and would have it back,” Hill said.
    Statistics show police are seeing a citywide increase in auto thefts. As of July 4, they were up about 15 percent compared to last year.
    In Zone 2, which includes Buckhead, auto thefts are up about 21 percent. So far this year, they’ve seen 240 car thefts. About 34 percent of the vehicles had the keys n them when they were stolen.
    “We’ve seen them taken at residences .. some of the vehicles, with husband and wives, someone will have the key to the other car in their car and vice versa,” Maj. Van Hobbs explained. Hobbs oversees Zone 2.  Hobbs also noted they are seeing some thefts involving keyless cars, which utilize proximity keys.
    “Some cars only go a short distance and shut off. If the spare fob is in that car, it will continue to run until it's shut off,” Hobbs said.
    In Zone 6, which includes parts of Southeast Atlanta, they are seeing the sharpest increase, at about 26 percent more car thefts compared to last year.
    Police say they are beefing up patrols in problem areas. As for what is contributing to the uptick, police are not sure but say teens are out of school for the summer and may be causing some of the crime.  
    Aggravated assaults, homicides and vehicle larceny are also up slightly over last year.

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