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Vehicle Thefts Declining in Maryland

July 1st, 2022 by WCBC Radio

The number of vehicle thefts in Maryland declined for the fourth straight year in 2020. However, work continues by the Maryland State Police, allied law enforcement agencies and the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council to reduce those rates even further in upcoming years.

This come as July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. In Maryland, a car is stolen every 49 minutes, while one is stolen every 39 seconds in the United States. In most cases, vehicles are stolen either for the resale or distribution of parts, for transportation purposes, for the commission of other crimes, or for exportation.

One of the primary goals of National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month is to highlight how preventable most thefts are if people follow some basic steps. Overall, 50 percent of the vehicles stolen had the keys/key fobs left inside the vehicle while 60 percent of the vehicles stolen were left unlocked.

In addition, more than 66 percent of vehicle thefts occur at night and 95 percent of the vehicles stolen had no anti-theft devices. National surveys reveal that 33 percent of drivers left their vehicle while it was running.

According to the Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, there were 10,683 vehicles stolen in Maryland in 2020, compared to 13,847 in 2016 and 38,194 in 1994, the year the Council was created. This represents a 68 percent decrease in stolen vehicles over that 26-year span. However, at the same time, there has been an increase in carjackings in recent years. Maryland recorded 1,015 carjackings in 2020, compared to 807 in 2019 and 731 in 2018.