You’ve seen FOX13 News report on stolen cars, and you may even know someone whose car has been stolen as more and more cars are being stolen in Memphis.

Numbers obtained by FOX13 News prove it.

This year, according to the latest available numbers provided by Memphis Police, a car is being stolen nearly once every 30 minutes.

“Individuals steal cars for a reason,” said Memphis Police deputy chief of investigative services Paul Wright.

Part of that reason is the use of those cars in violent crime, and it appears, he said, there is a connection between recent, high-profile crimes involving stolen cars and connected gun crimes; some that may be fueled by stolen weapons.

“It’s a huge trend right now. We’ve had this year alone 402 weapons stolen from cars,” he said. “Case by case, we have seen individuals use stolen vehicles in other crimes … [and] shootings.”

Numbers the department provided show exactly how that trend is growing. In just the first two months of this year, about 2,564 cars had been stolen, putting the city on pace for more than 15,000 thefts, a number that is ahead of last year when just under 11,000 were stolen.

About 1,400 arrests were made last year for those stolen cars, Wright said, and this year 175 arrests had been made and 59 percent of stolen cars had been recovered.

“…[W]e’re seeing theft from motor vehicles take place and it seems to be a thing throughout the nation,” said Wright.

“They have YouTube videos that show young people how to actually steal cars.”

The rash of stolen cars also combatted with about 30 chop shops taken down last year,” Wright said.

He also said the best way to protect yourself from getting your car stolen is still the old-fashioned way – steering wheel locks. There are also so called “kill-switches: that can be added to keep a car from driven away once the engine is started.

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