Car thieves are on the prowl. If you believe your neighborhood is immune – think again.

Metro Nashville and surrounding communities are in the midst of a car theft crime wave. Last year, thieves stole around 3,100 cars in Nashville – sometimes more than 100 per day.

In too many cases, the owners of these stolen vehicles made it easy pickings. According to Metro Nashville Police Dept. data, 70% of the cars and trucks stolen in the city were taken with the keys still inside them.

Surveillance video of stolen car crash

While some areas of town are getting hit by car thieves more than others, no areas of the city untouched by the crime wave. 

In fact, as we reported in January, there was a 21% increase in car thefts from 2017 to 2018 across Nashville. And while overall crime is down in every precinct across the city right now, the number of car thefts increased year-over-year in every, single precinct. 

Teenagers are part of this troubling trend and they’re waiting for you to make a mistake.  

“So, we will see them on surveillance cameras — they will roll into a neighborhood or apartment complex at night,” explains Metro Nashville Police Lt. Blaine Whited. “The driver will let two or three other youth out, and they just start roaming the roads and complexes checking door handles.” 

News 2 is digging deeper into the troubling trend of car thefts and how law enforcement is working to turn the tables. Our special project “Car Theft Crime Wave” will feature special reports all day Thursday in every newscast. 

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