St. Pete Sees Drop in Number of Car Thefts
The St. Petersburg Police Department describes the drop as “significant” and “dramatic.”
ST. PETERSBURG – This city’s auto thefts were “significantly down” in 2017, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
The city’s Annual Crime Report for 2017 shows auto thefts are down 10.7 percent when compared with 2016 and declined 36 percent when compared with 2015.
The total number of car thefts in 2017 was 978, the lowest since 2012 when 876 cars were stolen in St. Petersburg. Last year was also the third lowest number of car thefts in the city during the period from 2001 through 2017.
While auto theft remains a serious juvenile crime issue, police said they are making progress in reducing the numbers.
Police said they credit collaborative efforts with other agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, other policing agency, the Pinellas Pasco State Attorney’s Office, and judges.
Another factor in the drop, the department said, is a multi-pronged approach to policing:
- HOME or Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement. Officers are assigned full time to do regular home checks on juvenile offenders on home detention.
- Investigative Support Unit. Focuses on tracking youth gang members and their activities.
- Auto theft unit merged with the burglary unit. Auto break-ins often lead to auto theft when the keys are left in the car. Detectives can now share information on suspects and be more effective
in solving cases.
- Public education with weekly social media posts to remind people to lock their cars.
“These numbers are encouraging. They show that our efforts, and the cooperative efforts ofour citizens, are paying off,” police Chief Anthony Holloway said. “The St. Petersburg Police Department, along with our partner agencies, will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our current practices. Should any shift in this data occur, we will adjust our efforts accordingly.”
St. Petersburg Police | Crime | Auto Thefts | Car Thefts | Tampabay News
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