(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) Stranded in the ruins of disastrous so-called criminal justice reforms propagated by leftists and defund the police movements pushed by radical BLM activists, the U.S. in on track to break a record high number of annual car thefts, which is set to top 1 million.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that more than 745,000 vehicles were stolen across the country through the first nine months of 2022, which is the highest number of cars stolen during the first nine months since 2008 and a 24% increase over the levels before 2020, according to the Washington Times.
NICB estimated that the value of the vehicles that were stolen this year exceeds $6.6 billion.
Police officers, however, said that the actual number of stolen cars is way higher than the numbers reported. Tom Weitzel, a recently retired police chief in the Chicago suburb of Riverside, Ill., said that the reason why that’s the case is that it is hard to prove a car theft without an eyewitness or video evidence that shows a person stealing the car.
“Courts and prosecutors certainly don’t take auto thefts seriously. Unless it’s a carjacking, which is a separate charge, it’s not considered a crime of violence and the insurance companies pay the victim,” Weitzel said.
“That really skews the numbers both from prosecutors and the police, which are downplaying the crime because they know it won’t stick.”
However, even if police and courts are fudging the numbers, they are still high, especially in major cities across the country under far-Left Democrat rule.
In Denver, Colorado, car thefts are up 15% compared to the last year. The numbers skyrocketed even more during the previous years — 80% compared to 2020 and 178% compared to 2019.
New York City also showed a 32% increase in car thefts with 12,901 cars stolen through Dec. 11, compared to 9,757 cars stolen last year.
Memphis, Tennessee, reported 9,600 auto thefts — approximately 30 thefts per day — over the first 11 months of 2022. Compared to the last year, that was a 100% increase. Chicago also saw a 100% increase in car thefts through the first 50 weeks with 19,784 cars stolen. In contrast, 9,933 cars were stolen during the same period last year.
Weitzel also noted that the situation is so bad that suburbs of big cities suffer, too. Hundreds of cars are stolen per night in Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located, he said.
“That’s never happened before. It’s such an epidemic,” Weitzel said.
Even though car theft rates have been going down since the 1990s, the rates started to increase every month since June 2020 — the beginning of tyrannical COVID-19 lockdowns and the “summer of love” — according to the data from NICB.