Car Thefts on the Rise in DC Area During Pandemic

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Car thefts are up this year in the D.C. area, and delivery drivers are being targeted.

Last year at this time there had been just more than 1,200 stolen cars in the District. This year that number has jumped to more than 1,600.

“We’ve noticed a huge jump in our stolen vehicles that are left idling and unattended with keys inside of the vehicle from about mid-March of this year until this week,” Metropolitan Police Department Cmdr. Morgan Kane said.

“We’re seeing these cars popping up being involved in violent crimes,” Kane said.

The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles emailed drivers Tuesday morning with tips on how to avoid having their cars stolen.

“Over the last 30 days I can tell you that we’ve made 69 stolen auto-related arrests,” Kane said.

D.C. police said they typically recover about half of the cars that are stolen.

Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, report a significant increase in Silver Spring with a high number of delivery drivers victimized.

Montgomery County police are holding a virtual community meeting Tuesday night to talk about the increase in car thefts.

Arlington County, Virginia, also is seeing a spike in stolen cars. More than half their recent car thefts were cars that were either left running or unlocked with keys inside.

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