RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As we head into the season of giving, the Richmond Police Department is more worried about those who’ve been taking. Recent statistics, as of Monday, Nov. 13, reflected a whopping 1,324 cars reported stolen in the City of Richmond in 2023.
That number was just around 780 cars this time last year, which means the number of stolen motor vehicles in Richmond is up 70% year-to-date.
Richmond Police Lieutenant James Hogan confirmed that — compared to past trends — this is a significant influx. It’s a problem his team is actively trying to tackle. 8News asked how often he responds to these types of calls.
“Every day,” Lt. Hogan answered.
Lt. Hogan added that — more often than not — he’s called to these crimes multiple times a day.
To put those numbers in context, vehicle thefts are also up this year in Henrico County, but only by 27%. Meanwhile, car thefts are down in Chesterfield County, with just 328 cases this year as of October.
Lt. Hogan told 8News that — in Richmond — it’s more about the type of car than the location of the car.
“If you’re driving a Hyundai or a Kia,” Lt. Hogan began. “We would ask that you go to your dealership and you make sure that you have the most updated work done on your car. And we ask you invest in a wheel lock.”
Last year, 80 Hyundais and Kias were stolen in the city. This year, that total is more than 700 Hyundais and Kias.
But in terms of geography, Lt. Hogan noted the Church Hill and Manchester neighborhoods have seen noticeably high volumes of calls.
“Recently with all of the new construction, a lot of the high-density residential construction that has offsite parking can be very susceptible,” Lt. Hogan explained.
Officials recommend community members always lock their doors, never leave cars running unattended and if an individual is planning on doing some “Black Friday” shopping — don’t tempt thieves by leaving shopping bags in the car.
With one month left in the year, Lt. Hogan hopes to turn the trend around.
“It does seem like we’ve plateaued,” the lieutenant said. “But we’ve plateaued at a really, really high number right now. It’s exponentially higher than what we saw in the past year, and we would hate to see it be sustained.”