NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Cars are being stolen at almost double the rate as they were 10 years ago, according to Metro police data.
The data shows there has been a 133.1% increase in reported auto thefts in Davidson County from 2012-2022.
Police say these are crimes of opportunity and there is no neighborhood, type of vehicle, or parking lot that is being specifically targeted.
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It’s a trend that All Out Towing owner Nicholas Formosa says he has seen in the six years his business has been operating.
Formosa says when a business or community member sees an abandoned car in their lot or on their street, they will call the towing company to come to get it. And once Formosa runs the VIN, he can see if the car has been reported stolen, in which case he immediately calls the police to come and get it.
He says six years ago this happened maybe once a month, but recently it happens two or three times a week.
“These vehicles get scattered everywhere they can be at a commercial, a residential home, public parking lots, it’s really just wherever the thieves decide to bail out on them at,” he said.
Formosa said that the type of car and condition of the car when his team picks it up can really vary.
“From perfectly fine with no damage, to totally stripped down,” he explained. “We get vehicles that have burnt wheels and tires missing. It can really range from top to bottom.”
And that’s just what he is seeing at his company. Formosa added this is something the other tow companies in the area deal with as well.
In response to this rise in thefts, police say it’s crucial for Nashvillians to lock their car doors, keep valuables out of eyesight, take all guns inside and not leave keys in the car.
In a release from Tuesday, MNPD said of all the vehicles stolen last week, 64% were “easy targets” because the keys were inside the car.
“Just like guns taken from vehicles, these stolen autos are also routinely involved in criminal activities, including carjackings and robberies,” an MNPD spokesperson added.