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13News Now Investigates: Over 700 cars reported stolen this year so far in Norfolk

A car is stolen every six hours on average this year in Norfolk, according to crime data.

NORFOLK, Va. — A car is stolen every six hours on average this year in Norfolk.

More specifically, thieves have stolen 738 cars over the past six months in the city.

It’s not uncommon for Norfolk Police to investigate hundreds of stolen car reports every year, but CrimeMapping data shows an uptick in recent weeks.

Since March, reported car thefts have trended up with each passing month.

There were 136 cars stolen in June, which is almost twice as many as the 76 cars in March.

Through the first 11 days of July, Norfolk police investigated 69 reports of stolen vehicles alone. July is now on pace to be this year's worst month yet for auto theft in Norfolk.

Department spokesman Sergeant William Pickering said car thefts are at a 41% increase from this time last year.

Credit: Dan Kennedy/ WVEC

The interactive crime map shows thieves are stealing cars across the city in almost every neighborhood. 

Data also suggests this is one crime for which criminals rarely get arrested.

In 2020, the Norfolk Police Department cleared just 6% of the reported auto thefts that year, according to the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Callie McKinney fell victim to car theft on Tuesday morning. She lives in the Little Creek area of Norfolk. 

"I was freaking out thinking, 'Oh no, I have to go buy a new car,'" McKinney said.

Fortunately, it didn't take her long to find it. She credits a tracking device in her car called Hum.

"We were able to log in to the account and locate the vehicle," McKinney said.

Last week, Bryce Koob said someone stole his car from his driveway in Larchmont. It's a red Toyota Camry, and police still haven't found it.

"For like the first 30 seconds I was like, 'Did I sleep walk and drive my car away?'" Koob said.

After filing a police report he posted on the community Facebook page Norfolk Police Scanner and found dozens of other Norfolk residents who are dealing with the same thing.

"It's frustrating knowing so many cars are getting stolen," Koob said.

Sgt. Pickering says most cars are stolen because people left them unlocked or running unattended.

In 2021, our team at 13News Now reported that auto thefts were up 33% compared to 2020 across Norfolk. 

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