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Almost 400 cars stolen in Birmingham so far this year

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 11:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police said there have been 395 car thefts so far this year and that is up three percent from this time last year.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said it’s becoming more prevalent across the county, but there are some things you can do to keep your car in the driveway.

“They have become more prevalent,” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Joni Money said.

Money said the first step to keeping your car from being stolen is lock your car doors.

“At least make it difficult for somebody to take the car,” Money said. “Make sure you park in well lit areas. Don’t park somewhere where it is dark or easy for somebody to get around your vehicle and manipulate the vehicle, maybe hot wire it, without being detected.”

Money said sometimes thieves are looking for specific parts or expensive tires, but usually it doesn’t matter how new your car is. She said it is a crime of opportunity.

“You are going to have somebody who wants to go joyriding,” Money said. “You may have somebody who is looking to get out of something or run away from something. You may also have somebody who is looking to commit a crime and they want a vehicle that would not come back to them.”

She said parking in a garage or driveway is safest, but if you have to park on the street, try to keep it as close to a business as possible.

“You want to stay as close to the entrance of the business,” she said. “Where you can see the vehicle, or where there is a lot of traffic, so somebody would notice if someone was hotwiring your car or trying to break into it.”

Money said the best thing you can do is use your car’s installed GPS if it’s a new model or add in a security alarm system if you drive an older car. Car GPS has already helped them solve a few stolen vehicle cases.

“Those new GPS’s in the car, the locating systems, I think those have helped a lot,” Money said. “I have been reading a lot of activity that comes through our office where we are locating vehicles stolen in other counties or jurisdictions, so we have been locating a lot of vehicles.”

Sgt. Money said it’s important to be prepared in case your car ever is stolen. She said keep a file outside of the car that has your make, model, vin number, license plate. That is all information police will need from you to get your car back.

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