Record breaking auto-thefts in Charlotte, tips to stay safe

86 automobiles were reported stolen to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department from July 18 to July 24 of this year.

This is a 76 percent increase from the same period last year.

1354 vehicles have been stolen already in 2016. This represents a 24 percent increase from this point last year.

“The alarming trend for many of these cases was that nearly 80 percent of the reported thefts occurred by the suspects using the vehicle keys,” CMPD said in a press release. It recommends removing any keys from the car upon exiting the vehicle.

CMPD is advising citizens to make sure all vehicle doors are locked when parked regardless of location.

In addition, firearms and other valuables should never be left inside while parked.

If a vehicle is parked in a garage, the police advise shutting the garage door, especially if parking over-night.

CMPD is increasing its efforts to curb the growing trend, making fourteen arrests in the last week.

“Officers in some areas have even made contact with homeowners in the very early morning hours to remind them to close garage doors,” the press release said.

Tyler Fleming: 704-358-5355, @tyler_fleming96