MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A disturbing report from Memphis Police came to the Memphis City Council regarding a trend of car thefts in 2023.
According to the Memphis Police Department, reports of stolen cars have surged 139% so far in 2023 compared to 2022. MPD estimates nearly 2,000 cars have been stolen in the first month and a half of 2023 alone.
Mark Amagliani, owner of Salon Liani in East Memphis, says this is the worst stretch for stolen cars he’s seen in 25 years.
“We’ve had numerous cars stolen, broken into up here weekly,” he said.
Amagliani says he and other business owners at the Orleans Place shopping complex and all around the Germantown line, have regularly been victims of the recent spike in car thefts.
“I have called the landlord and asked for security here and they have not followed back with me with that,” Amagliani said. “They have tried to put in extra security lights but all this stuff is happening during the day time.”
On several different occasions, businesses say their employees have shown up to work, only to come out to find their car is gone.
Amagliani says the last time one of his employees had their car stolen was in January.
“I was out here at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, outside taking the trash out and I see a guy about 50 feet up and I say, ‘Hey man, you’re stealing my employee’s car!’” Amagliani said. “He just looks at me, steals the car anyway!”
Shannon Barnes, who works at East Memphis Chiropractic says their parking lot was hit multiple times in a short span in April of 2022.
“First they came and broke into six cars, and then, the following week, one of the doctors was missing keys,” she said. “The following week, they took the car.”
Barnes says they have a security guard on duty but knows they can only cover so much ground.
Amagliani says area businesses look out for each other the best that they can.
“When it starts getting towards dusk, we start making sure our employees and our clients are walked to their car,” he said. “We always keep our eyes open, that’s pretty much all we can do.”
Combined with the nearly 1,400 cars broken into during the same period, an average of roughly 73 cars are broken into or stolen every day.