Auto Thefts In Tulsa Dropped 30% In 2022, Says Tulsa Police

The Tulsa Police Auto Theft Unit says their focus on serial car thieves has helped them reduce car thefts by 30% between 2021 and 2022.

Wednesday, January 18th 2023, 5:00 pm



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Tulsa ranked in the top 15 in the nation for car thefts in 2021, but that number dropped 30% in 2022.

The Tulsa Police Auto Theft Unit says their focus has been on serial car thieves and that has helped put a major dent in the number of cars stolen in our city. The drastic drop in car thefts in Tulsa caught the attention of police departments in some of the biggest cities, like Chicago, Miami, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.

They all called asking TPD what they're doing to reduce car thefts. Lieutenant Chase Calhoun with the Tulsa Police Auto Theft Unit says he and his unit take a proactive approach to catching car thieves and recovering stolen cars. Calhoun says car thefts are on the rise across the nation. He says they've spent the last year going after the repeat offenders.

"They are causing us the most work,” said Calhoun. “So what we've done is redirect a lot of our resources, time, and energy into focusing on these repeat offenders and working with the DA's office to seek more punishment and more jail time."

He says the city's license plate reading cameras are helping TPD recover a lot of stolen cars. Some TPD cars are also equipped with license plate reading cameras.

"While we are out working it is always scanning license plates so if we get a car, a vehicle that is stolen it will alert us right away and we can take enforcement action,” said Calhoun.

Calhoun says not only do serial car thieves create a lot of victims, but he also says one in five stolen cars are used in other crimes.

"It is very common for people to go out and steal vehicles and use them in other crimes like burglary, robbery, shootings, things like that because it conceals their mode of transportation,” said Calhoun. "We are just happy that we are trending downward in the right direction. to have our numbers down."

TPD wants to remind people that locking their doors, not leaving their cars running, and not leaving their keys in their cars are the best ways to avoid becoming a victim.

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