With the number of stolen cars skyrocketing we asked, “What’s being done about it.”
The I-Team filed a records request to look at the neighborhoods hit hardest by car thieves.
The records show the highest number of stolen cars on the city’s southwest side from the area around Memphis and Pearl down to I-480.
Then, we saw the second-highest number of stolen cars recorded in the downtown area. That covers from the Flats to the Lake to the near eastside.
We found the next highest number in the northeast corner of the city along the Shoreway and around the border with Euclid.
Police say thieves now steal 600, and even more than 700, cars in Cleveland every month.
Other hotspots include Slavic Village.
Plus, the area around West 130th and Lorain.
And a section in the northwest part of town running along Detroit and Franklin north of Lorain.
Meantime, we found Cuyahoga County prosecutors analyzing all the data.
Crime Strategies Unit Supervisor Ryan Bokoch said, “Our Crime Strategies Unit has analysts tracking all stolen vehicles and their recovery locations in Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County. That includes tracking hot spots. We are sharing that information with law enforcement in order to help prosecute the individuals that are committing these crimes. We are prosecuting all cases that have sufficient suspect information and evidence to ensure these individuals are held accountable.”
Cleveland Councilman Kris Harsh wants the city to sue the companies building KIAs and Hyundais. He argues they should be held responsible since those brands make up a huge percentage of cars stolen.
This week, Harsh told FOX 8, “One of the problems is, we are spending so much time going after
the criminals that steal cars that we aren’t dealing with other crimes in the city, right now.”
For this story, Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia issued a statement, saying, “The Division of Police has conducted several details regarding stolen vehicles in general, with a specific concentration on stolen Kias and Hyundais. In addition, through a donation, the Division provided a substantial amount of wheel locks to the city of Cleveland resident owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in an effort to deter future thefts. The Division continues to encourage vehicle owners to ensure that vehicles are locked when parked and to remove valuables from plain sight in order to lessen the likelihood of vehicle break-ins and thefts.”
No quick fix.
We’ve also shown you: Teen car thieves have often been arrested, then quickly released by the court. And, sometimes, those same suspects have been arrested for the same thing, again. However, the juvenile court recently told the I-Team that the detention center would start taking a closer look at holding more of the car thieves.
The City records show by the end of last year, the number of cars stolen every month had basically, doubled from the beginning of the year.