Some travelers are in fear after an uptick of car thefts at Hartsfield-Jackson airport

ATLANTA — Police tell Channel 2 Action News they are investigating a number of car thefts at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Channel 2′s investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln was at the airport where some drivers say they are scared that if they drop off their car not knowing if it’ll be there when they come back from their trip.

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Corey Sanford says every day for more than a week he’s checked the miles traveled in his Dodge TRX pickup truck.

“I’m missing a $100,000 truck,” Sanford said.

Last month he says his Doge TRX was stolen from a Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport parking lot.

“After walking around the airport for 2 ½ hours, I realized something was off,” he said.


Lincoln learned Sanford is one of nearly 100 vehicle owners whose cars were reported stolen by unknown thieves this year at the Atlanta airport.

Channel 2 Action News first reported about the uptick in 2022, but within recent months Atlanta police say recent thefts have drastically increased.

“I came back to the spot where I thought I parked and there was a different truck sitting there,” Justin Williamson whose truck was stolen told Lincoln in 2022.

Atlanta police told Lincoln, they’ve increased patrols around the airport.

Last month a man was arrested and charged with motor vehicle theft. According to a police report, Matthew Freeman jumped inside a car and stole it while the driver was unloading luggage.

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Numbers from Atlanta police reveal 95 vehicles were reported stolen so far this year. That puts this year on track to surpass the total number of car thefts reported in 2023, which was also 95. And in 2022, 101 reports of theft were made.

Atlanta Airport sent a statement saying:

“ATL constantly monitors and modifies our security protocol to address the challenges posed by the threat of auto thefts” – ATL spokesperson.