RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In her quarter crime update, Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson reported the city saw a reduction in homicides and robberies at businesses.
There was an increase however in property crime, according to Patterson.
The chief said car thefts continue to be an issue in the city with a 26 percent increase in the first quarter of the year compared to last year.
In the first quarter of this year, 386 vehicles were reported stolen in the city.
Police reported 418 were recovered during the first quarter. Patterson said that includes vehicles reported stolen in other jurisdictions too.
“As we have seen in times past, these thefts are fairly distributed throughout our jurisdiction,” said Patterson.
The chief said the cars left running along with keys or fobs left in the car are the biggest contributing factors to these thefts. There are specific vehicles thieves are targeting more than other recently.
Kia and Hyundai vehicles not equipped with anti-theft immobilizers have become a recent target for would-be thieves.
See Chief Patterson’s full remarks in the below video.
In the first quarter of the year, the Raleigh Police Department reported 74 thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Those models represent 19 percent of all motor vehicle thefts in the city in the first few months of the year.
“I am thankful to Kia and Honda for remedying the anti-theft immobilizer issue by providing free software upgrades. If you own a Kia or a Hyundai, please contact your local dealership or you can go to their websites for more information to see if your vehicle’s on the list of those that are can be stolen easily,” Patterson advised.
On the topic of vehicles, Patterson warned people against leaving firearms in cars. In the first quarter of the year, 96 firearms were stolen from vehicles in the city. So far this year, 162 guns have been stolen from vehicles.
“When nearly half of the city’s aggravated assaults involve a firearm, that is problematic and we as a community should not be okay with that, and we should not accept it as the norm. It is important that I remind all gun owners to properly secure your firearms. I cannot stress it enough,” said Patterson.
Police reported of the 282 aggravated assaults in the city, about 40 percent involved firearms during the first quarter. Patterson said the department continues to work to remove weapons out of the hands of offenders not permitted to have them.