Hot cars in New Castle County, Delaware are targeted by thieves; Police issued a warning to drivers

NEW CASTLE, Delaware (WPVI) — It was a rough Friday morning for some residents in Delaware who were preparing to leave their homes for the day.

“There’s no worse feeling in the world than going out with your kids, your wallet, your coffee, your stuff to go to work, and your car’s not there. It’s terrible,” said New Castle County Police Cpl. Michael McKensby.

Three residents left their cars unattended while warming up, and within minutes, two vehicles were stolen and one was broken into, McKensby said.

One accident occurred on May Street in New Castle, while another occurred on Anderson Drive in Wilmington.

Car theft is on the rise, McKensby said.

See also: The suspects sought to steal catalytic converters from hospital staff cars in Delaware

“For this year, I think we’ve had a 110 percent increase over the previous year when it comes to vehicle theft,” McKensby said. “Many vehicle thefts actually tie up a lot of officers and resources that could be used for better things.”

Officers have not made any arrests in these cases yet, but over the past two weeks, they have charged eight juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 with multiple vehicle theft and related charges.

“Yesterday, three arrests were made, and in those three arrests, all of them were juveniles again. They were able to connect the perpetrators to ten separate car thefts here in Delaware,” McKensby said.

He said many of the juvenile suspects are repeat offenders.

To stop future thefts, police and AAA have reminders for drivers.

“In this day and age, it’s not really necessary to warm up your car for any mechanical reason,” said Jana Tidwell, a spokeswoman for AAA. “Always lock your car. Never leave anything of value visible, especially now with the holiday season.”

“Use an Apple Tag to track your car, and park your car in well-lit areas near security cameras. Just taking a few extra steps could prevent you from being a victim,” McKensby said.

Kia and Hyundai models are still the most targeted vehicles, so owners should take extra precautions for them, such as using a wheel lock, McKensby said.

He also said the suspects were stealing catalytic converters.

Investigators said they are trying to find two men who cut catalytic converters from two vehicles in the employee parking lot at Nemours Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

They believe the men are operating a grey/blue Nissan Pathfinder.

If you have any information about these incidents, contact New Castle County Police.

(Tags for translation)New Castle Delaware

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