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Tulsa police: Car thefts trending down

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Feb 02, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Police Department says auto thefts are down when you compare 2022 to 2021.

Tulsa police say the city has seen a 30% decrease in auto thefts and a 20% decrease in auto theft-related crimes. Latoya Jones, a Tulsa resident, had her car stolen in Tulsa before and she’s not going to let it happen again.

“I was a naïve teenager and I thought everything was peaches and cream," she told 2 News Oklahoma.

We spoke with Tulsa Police Lt. Chase Calhoun who said he agrees that preventing auto theft starts with responsibility, but he attributes the decrease in theft numbers to targeting repeat offenders.

“The people that are grabbing and stealing the most cars are the people that we’re putting in prison now," Calhoun said.

He’s also working with the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office by seeking stiffer jail sentences and prison time. Lastly, developing relationships and educating the community have been big parts of Calhoun's plan.

“Our salvage yards, or scrap yards, would be an example of that," Calhoun said. "We're working with them to identify these repeat offenders and educate them on the state laws pertaining to these stolen vehicles."

We asked Calhoun if thieves are seeking certain model cars. He said it's geographical. In Oklahoma, Calhoun says thieves tend to steal trucks and SUVs due to their easy-to-defeat locking systems and high resale value.

Tulsa police say they don’t recommend leaving your keys in the car, even during cold temperatures when people may be tempted to leave their vehicle runnings when they aren't in it.

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