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Recent crash reveals alarming new trend on car thefts in Memphis

Recently, an ABC24 employee noticed the ignition of a spun-out car had appeared to have been tampered with an iPhone charger.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A recent car crash could be the latest example of an unfortunate trend growing in the Mid-South and across the country.

Sunday afternoon an ABC24 employee witnessed a crash at the intersection of Shelby Drive and Millbranch Road.

According to them a blue Hyundai, which was potentially stolen, spun out of control and hit a pole. The ABC24 worker then saw the driver get out of the car, limp, and run away from the scene.  Upon further inspection of the car, the ABC24 employee noticed the ignition had appeared to have been tampered with what appears to be an iPhone charger.

Memphis Police have not yet confirmed what happened, but recently offered advice for Memphian drivers on how they can protect their cars from potentially being the next target.

According to MPD, compared to this time last year a troubling trend of a specific crime continues.

“Auto thefts were up significantly,” said Deputy Chief of Information Technology Joe Oakley.

Almost twice as much - with Hyundais, KIAs and Infiniti makes being the main culprits. 

Compared to this time in 2021, MPD says there was an almost 1100% increase of stolen KIAs.  Hyundais saw an even bigger jump of more than 1300%.  These models are becoming the most likely to be stolen across Memphis and the country, which could possibly be due to social media, where some viewers have learned how to hotwire cars.

MPD has been doing its part to help cut down on these car thefts.  Recently it handed out 500 steering wheel locks to local drivers.  Similar locks can be found in most stores, so it’s recommended by MPD that car owners, especially ones who drive a Hyundai or Kia, pick one up.

MPD also advises drivers to not leave their fun unsecured in their car since it’s probably what a thief will be looking for.   It’s also best to park in a well lit area, potentially in front of a camera, and to think about investing in a car alarm or kill switch to prevent thieves from starting the car in the first place.

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